Deepwater Horizon Review - A Resonating Epic Disaster Action Film

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Deepwater Horizon, from Lionsgate, Summit Entertainment, and Participant Media, reenacts the 2010 oil rig blowout that killed eleven men and spilled oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days creating one of the worst ecological disasters in history.


Directed by Peter Berg Deepwater Horizon stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Kate Hudson, Douglas M. Griffin, James DuMont, Joe Chrest, Gina Rodriguez, Brad Leland, David Maldonado, J.D. Evermore, Jason Pine and Ethan Suplee and a supporting cast of incredible talent.

Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Deepwater Horizon was written by Matthew Michael Carnahan and Matthew Sand based on articles by David Rohde and Stephanie Saul.

Deepwater Horizon opens with a long view of an inspection of this massive pipeline that descends to the sea floor. As to what was the purpose for the inspection one wants to believe it is checking for breakage, cracks, spillage or seepage, something to indicate the pipe is damaged. We hear the all clear.

Soon after bubbles escape the sea floor, and slowly make their way to the surface.

Back on land in Louisiana, the team is preparing for another three weeks on the rig. We meet Mike Williams, played by Mark Wahlberg and his wife Felicia, played by Kate Hudson, as she awakes with a dream, which seems as if it somewhat of a ritual, as Mike explains he off for extended stay.

We meet our next crew mate, Andrea Fleytas, played by Gina Rodriguez, trying to get her mustang to start. Tinkering around she pulls off the air filter, blows out gunk from the fuel filter, tries pouring a little gas in the carburetor and no go. Having to make the flight to the rig on time, she jumps on the back of Ducati her boyfriend owns off they go.

We meet Jimmy Harrell, played by Kurt Russell, British Petroleum executive O’Bryan, played by James DuMont, and Vidrine, played by John Malkovich, gathered at the heliport checking in for the flight out to Deep Water.

Landing, the crew finds the Rig is still running behind 43 days from pumping oil, every possible mechanical failure they could have, including no working phones, is still an issue. British Petroleum, the owners of the rig are running a bare bones operation believing like any manufacturer, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Today was the day, the executives Vidrine and O’Bryan were meeting with Mr. Jimmy to make some determination. It was also the day when BP handed Jimmy a distinction for commendable service. Time was ticking.

Soon everyone decides the time has come to run a drill test which is necessary to gauge the trustworthiness of the pipes. These tests were done by order of BP. Needless to say, it can be catastrophic when false positives occur, the same and worse in the oil industry. In order to get the oil pumping they had to drill past the mud. BP had chosen to override the recommendation of Jimmy and bring a mud barge to collect the expected sludge.

Like a volcano erupting with warning, the suddenness of the blowout came after just a small bit of pre-warning. The rig, a skyscraper in height at some 60 feet, exploded from the bottom up, a reverse cascading.

With the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill such recent history, one understands this is the precursor to the catastrophic consuming explosion.

The rig was the height of a mid-rise building. Three weeks at a time, the rig was home, and with life going on, men were on the bridge, in the shower, working, sleeping, living. Grab the edge of your seat ad hang on. Deepwater Horizon will take you into the Drill room, the depth of hell as these men and women attempt to escape the burning ruin of the oil rig.

To say I really liked Deepwater Horizon is almost a betrayal to the circumstances surrounding the events. As one knows, theoretically, the outcome, the journey becomes key in providing an accurate portrayal of the harrowing events.

Narrow escapes, explosions, the mechanics behinds the oil spill, the blast, the faulty equipment, expected production, all the elements and more than a David versus Goliath it becomes man against man and man against nature.

War for sport, between men, one can create algorithms that are so close that odds makers become quite rich; challenging nature is a fool’s game. Deepwater Horizon depicts both. As Mike Williams says to the BP executives, "Hope is not a tactic."

With this massive story, larger than life and real, the talent is tasked with portraying hardworking, good men, family men, who become extraordinary when faced with life or death.

To say impressive is an understatement. Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and John Malkovich, as their Deepwater Horizon counterparts survived, captured the essence of Semper Fi and family men, leader, captain, skilled and more knowledgeable as some would say, per usual, then the suits or executives that show up, in starched shirts and strong Standard Operating Procedure opinions.

After the explosion the harrowing moments are filled with genuine heroics and sacrifice. Some riggers made the ultimate sacrifice. Having the choice to escape or sacrifice to save their rig mates some made that ultimate decision.

The film is so well directed, the scenes stunning with authenticity, the scale overwhelming and the film has soul. During the remembrance of the eleven men lost, who didn't make it off the rig, I cried. It is deeply and genuinely moving.

The ecological disaster was also portrayed with a pelican flying incoherently slamming into the mud barge and then dying.

Historically everyone, from the least to the greatest, the learned and the simple, even myself attempting to find a way to cap the well to stop the seepage. The deep ecological imbalance, effecting fish, fowl, land and animals, united businessmen and fishermen who depended on clean oceans. The ramifications the spill united a nation and revitalized a clean ocean movement.

Deepwater Horizon is one of the year’s best films! Perfectly executed, flawless in presentation, Deepwater Horizon is an action disaster film of epic proportion. As it is real, the story and nuances seen in the film are actual based on the events.

Deepwater Horizon is epic, stunning and resonating. Peter Berg has created perfection in film making. I certainly expect it to make the short list of Best Pictures nominations during Awards Season.

Deepwater Horizon is flawless and opens September 30, 2016. See this film!

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