“Deepwater Horizon” stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien, and Kate Hudson. Released on September 30, 2016, the film is about a group of oil rig workers who must escape with their lives when a worst-case explosion sets the rig on fire.
The film is directed by Peter Berg, who also directed films such as The Rundown, Friday Night Lights, Hancock, Battleship, and Lone Survivor. It is based on the Deepwater Horizon explosion that happened on April 20, 2010, which killed 11 workers and injured 17 others. Not only that, but it also caused a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Yikes. The information that I gave you is enough to let you know what you’re going to expect from this film, and let me tell you, it ain’t a pretty sight. This event has been known for being the worst oil disaster in U.S. history, and based on what happened during that day, I’m not sure if I want to explore an oil rig, let alone work there. Anyway, this film has been on my radar for quite some time, mostly because of Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg, who worked together on Lone Survivor, which was a very good movie in my opinion. Now that it’s finally released, does it manage to do the horrific disaster justice?
The film offers a story that not only shows the disaster, but it also gave the audience a chance to get to know some of the characters that were on the Deepwater Horizon, which was during the first half. The best part is that the first half of the film never felt drawn out, and it’s all thanks to the strong performances from the cast, including Wahlberg as Mike Williams and Russell as Jimmy Harrell, and the slow buildup leading up to the explosion. The pacing of the buildup is not too fast nor too slow. It reached the exact pace that I wanted it to be. Now this is where all Hell breaks loose: the second half of the film, which is the Deepwater Horizon disaster sequence. Once it starts, it never stops for anything until it’s all said and done. The intensity, the amount of explosions, the sound editing, Peter Berg has what he needed to make the experience as life-threatening and dangerous as the real thing, and it was pretty amazing. The film also displays some inspiration and heroism, mostly for Mike Williams, which got to me emotionally for a little bit, but didn’t quite display a strong and memorable impact.
Overall, “Deepwater Horizon” is one of the most jaw-dropping and inspiring experiences to ever hit the silver screen. The performances were great, the direction was handled marvelously, and its themes about heroism were displayed in a respectable manner. It’s quite a challenge to make a film that combines the intensity of the event with a strong story, but Peter Berg managed to pull it off. If you’re a fan of inspiration films and/or are familiar with the event that the film is based on, then I believe this film is for you.