The events and the people (both survivors and the 11 casualties) involved in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is a powerful and tragic story that is brought to life in the new motion picture Deepwater Horizon. Director Peter Berg walks a fine line between honoring the men who died that day in April and giving movie goers a white knuckle experience putting the viewers in the heart of the fiery explosion that turned into the worst oil disaster in US history.
A few things you may need heading into Deepwater Horizon is a pad and paper, listening ears and your thinking cap because there’s a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo delivered to the audience in the first 45 minutes before the chaos begins. Only someone with an engineering/geology degree or experience on an oil drilling platform will truly understand all the information the BP corporate men and workers of the Deepwater Horizon are arguing over leading up to catastrophic event. Berg does his best to dumb down the science, but many audience members may end up cluelessly shaking their heads in agreement as to whether certain tests should or should not be conducted. Count this goofy critic as one of them.
Without disrespecting the dead in this next statement, Deepwater Horizon as a film goes into a fiery rage of suspense filled action once the reasons and blame are presented as to why this deadly incident occurred. Director Peter Berg is no stranger to presenting real life bloody drama with his previous work Lone Survivor and he does it again presenting the oil rig explosion in all it’s immense unforgiving glory. At times you can’t take your eyes off the fire, just like many of our players in the film. The fire is the force that drives the film for better (entertainment value) or worse (11 dead) in Deepwater Horizon.
The explosion is the focus of Deepwater Horizon, but the cast gives the audience its hope and depictions of heroism. Berg once again puts Mark Wahlberg front and center again as electrician Mike Williams who serves as the audience’s guide before and after the blowout of the well. Wahlberg does an excellent job of showing the human side of this event as well as his action skills as he tries to escape the menacing inferno. The supporting cast including Gina Rodriguez, Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson do a good job at backing up Wahlberg’s performance and get to have a couple of pivotal moments of their own along the way that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Director Peter Berg shows the audience in Deepwater Horizon how bad the real life tragedy could have been if it wasn’t for the courage and bravery of the men and women aboard the floating platform. There’s no denying the visceral and emotional images put to screen will leave viewers in awe and in horror. It’s not an easy task honoring the dead while recreating a man-made disaster in all its flaming glory, but Berg manages to pull it off thanks to an all around strong performance from Wahlberg.
Overall, I give Deepwater Horizon 3 out of 4 stars.
Read all T.M.’s reviews here–>Entertainment Now with T.M. Powell