Deepwater Horizon (2016)

Just came back from my screening of Deepwater Horizon and I was surprised how moving this movie was. Directed by Peter Berg the man behind Lone Survivor, it stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriquez, Dylan O’Brien, and Kate Hudson. Deepwater Horizon is a biopic based on the true events that occurred on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, the story surrounds the people who worked on the Deepwater Horizon and the moments of bravery and survival in the face of what would become one of the biggest man-made disasters in world history. 

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Mark Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, the chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon. Scheduled to work upon the oil rig for just a few weeks, Williams along with offshore installation manager Jimmy Harrell (played by Kurt Russell) quickly identify that BP has cut corners with safety measures in an attempt to hit production targets. One of the operators sings”money, money, money” as he continues to explain BP’s negligence. There are some concerns represented by Williams and Harrell do not change the minds of the on-site BP officials to change course and slow operations until all safety precautions have been taken. This results in a high pressure methane gas explosion that engulfed the rig platform. One hundred and five crew members were on board when the explosion took place. Ninety-Four were rescued. Eleven crew were never found.

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Wahlberg and Russell are both convincing in their respective roles. Wahlberg might have his bad roles but this isn’t one of them. You probably wouldn’t take Wahlberg as an electronics technician seriously, but he plays to perfection a smart family-oriented blue-collar worker and the ultimate hero of the movie. Peter Berg throws the audience right into the fire and we experience this tragic event on a personal level. The visuals are outstanding from the methane gas explosion to the Deepwater Horizon burning down, Berg turned this event up to a eleven.

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While the movie was predictable and it may have it’s problems, it was so perfectly executed, it still shocked you. From the beginning, there was no doubt about the fate of the rig from the clues that were dropped along the way from his daughter’s school presentation, to the tie of the executive, to the helicopter ride to the rig. You knew it was going to happen, but when it did, it grabbed and pulled me right in and it didn’t stop until the very end of the movie. When you see something like this on the news, you feel empathy but you brush these situations off. I walked out of the theater with knowing something more about this horrific situation on a personal level and I think that’s what Peter Berg wanted to show. Catch in theaters this weekend. SuperSam Rating: A-.

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