Inspired by a true story of real life heroes.
Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell and John Malkovich star in this disaster film based on the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon explosion - the incident which saw 11 workers killed, 17 workers injured and a massive oil spill leak into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the deemed the largest environmental disaster in US history.
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BY Dominic Corry Flicks Writer
Peter Berg's film about the Deepwater Horizon explosion almost entirely ignores the enormous environmental impact of the disaster, focusing instead on the build up to, and immediate human cost of, the event.... More
It's a fair enough tack considering how the environmental impact was what the media focused on when it happened, and if the film's goal was to humanise the people caught up in it, then it very much succeeds.
Berg has always displayed a knack for authentic portrayals of specialists in high-stakes fields and he establishes a nice "blue collar at sea" vibe amongst the characters here. Wahlberg is at ease and on auto-pilot as a heroic electrician, but it's Kurt Russell and the generic background faces that help sell the reality of life aboard an oil rig. Gina Rodriguez, from TV's Jane The Virgin, makes her presence felt as the rig's helmswoman.
Berg is also able to effectively dramatise the drilling itself, and the film generates much tension from the visual portrayal of the massive forces at play under the water. When the explosive finalé arrives, it's an impressively huge set-piece.
The film's decision to consign the oil spill itself to a post-script title card doesn't mean it's lacking in righteous indignation: BP management, represented by an especially serpentine John Malkovich, are shown to be unequivocal in their favouring of money over safety.
Deepwater Horizon isn't a life changer, but it's an effective true-life thriller with an authentic weightiness to what's on screen.Hide
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BY cinemusefilm superstar
Instead of the full story, the film offers as spectacular a dramatization of an oil-rig explosion that digital effects allow. The one-day plotline is simple and tight. It starts with a human interest back story of Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) having time off as boss of the Deepwater Horizon oil-rig, and his home life is sweet. Kissing wife and daughter goodbye, he heads off for a 21-day rig shift and on the helicopter ride we meet the British Petroleum bad guy executives. Tension lines are drawn immediately between Mike’s safety maintenance role and the ‘hurry up and make more money’ pressure from the company.
A great strength of this film is its ability to convey the dirty, claustrophobic and technology-dependent world of offshore oil-drilling. It is full of whiteboard diagram explanations, fear-inducing instrument dials with pointers drifting into red zones and grim-faced technicians who sense something calamitous is near. It also shows a grimy environment in which humans strip non-renewable resources from deep in our planet, all for profit. When poor safety and maintenance practices lead to the massive blowout and explosion, the film is at its best in portraying a veritable Dante's Inferno on water. Hyper-realistic imaging conveys uncontrolled gushing oil, roaring flames, and flying bodies in ways unimaginable just a few years ago.
The camerawork draws you into the rig with a colour palette that leaves the taste of petroleum in your mouth, but the chaos during the worst of the explosion is beyond cinematic capture. For a large part of the film it is difficult to know what is happening, but that would have been the case when it really happened. If this film intended to be a tribute to the heroic crew, both those who survived and those who did not, then it falls short. Typecast performances are effective in distinguishing the good guys from the bad, but that is all. Nor does it acknowledge the devastation that followed the disaster. It does, however, fill a gap in public awareness about this catastrophic event and that is an achievement.Hide
BY flapper123 superstar
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