Deepwater HORIZON rEVIEWED
Deepwater Horizon is based on the true events of a 2010 oil rig accident that led to the loss of human life and was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history. The story primarily follows electrical engineer Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg), who is a just guy who enjoys the simple things, like skyping with his wife while he’s at work. He also loves seeing the boss, Mr. Jimmy (Kurt Russell), fight with the boss from BP, played by John Malkovich with a weird Cajun accent. If you ever need to cast a duplicitous and greedy corporate stooge, Malkovich should be at the top of the call list. These two men are fighting over the need to begin drilling despite having skipped some critical safety tests.
Going into the movie I was not at all worried about our lead character Mike Williams. I actually have a theory that while Mark Wahlberg has transformed into a decent actor over the years, he never learned how to properly die. Have you ever seen it happen? He starred in a movie called Lone Survivor for Christ sakes. Even at the beginning of Deepwater we hear the real-life testimony of Mike Williams about that fateful night, so we know he’ll be okay. Yet I still found myself on the edge of my seat worried about the outcome of my protagonist.
The total run time of the movie is a brisk 107 minutes. It provides the perfect amount of build-up to the accident where you’ll find yourself screaming internally at the screen hoping someone will stand up to the BP cronies. It also doesn’t linger on the explosions just for the sake of showing explosions. Using the phrase “based on true life events” allows the movie to take some dramatic liberty though after going back and watching footage of the real explosion, I wonder how much was added, because it sure looked like everything was on fire while the crew was trying to escape.
Reading the epilogue detailing what happened post-accident reignited my anger. I was mad at how light BP got off after what happened and I was mad at myself for forgetting. My partner saw the movie with me and she found herself emotional as well, but was instead sad about the lives lost and for the emotional impact this event no doubt left on rig workers and their families. There was a conflict among the survivors over the making of this movie, with some thinking it was disrespectful and others wanting their story to be told. I hope they are happy with how Deepwater Horizon turned out. B