Deepwater Horizon is one of those films you don’t want to see necessarily. We (for the most part) know what happened, and how it ended for those stationed on the offshore oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. That being said, this movie needed to be made so more people can understand what went down that day.
Director Peter Berg (Battleship, Lone Survivor) had a pretty heavy task bringing this story back into the public consciousness. For many this is not something easily forgotten, and the lasting effects to the estimated 1,100 miles (1,770 km) of shoreline that was polluted aren’t yet fully realized. You can read more about the particulars and timelines of the actual events here.
I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about how fantastic Mark Wahlberg’s performance was as Mike Williams, the Deepwater Horizon’s resident computer guy. While maybe not the most glamorous of leading men, Mark delivers on pretty much all fronts. He and co-star Kate Hudson have some absolutely fabulous screen time together that will break your goddamn heart more than once. The film is based largely on Mike Williams (and other survivors) accounts of what happened the night everything went wrong. You can see some of the original 60 minutes interview with Williams here, and it pretty much sets the tone for the movie.
Every performance in Deepwater Horizon is completely believable, right down to the deplorable BP ‘company man’ Donald Vidrine, played by John Malkovich. You will HATE him, you will want to see him suffer, and you will want to see him PAY for how his choices caused almost all the catastrophic happenings. I had to remind myself that it was Malkovich the actor and not the REAL Vidrine. Kurt Russell’s portrayal of “Mr. Jimmy” Horrall is also worth noting; especially the glass sequence.
The effects are top notch, the script is strong, and the pacing is good. This film is really NOT for most audiences, more like Backdraft with a soul. What? I *LOVE* Backdraft, but Deepwater Horizon will make you enraged rather than thrilled.
Especially when you read the disclaimers right before the credits when you learn about the current state of the legal proceedings against the aforementioned parties.
SCORE: 7.5 out of 10, non 3-d viewing
My actual exit comments pretty much sum up how I felt leaving the theater, and hopefully readers/viewers won’t be offended.