Is it just me or does anyone else think Mark Wahlberg is just the go-to guy to star in real life movie adaptions? There’s The Fighter, there’s Lone Survivor, there’s this movie, and then he’ll be in Patriots Day next year. I’m not complaining, just an observation but nonetheless that’s neither here nor there. Let’s just break this one down.
Deepwater Horizon is directed by Peter Berg, who on one hand has directed solid films like Lone Survivor and The Rundown and on the other hand, he’s directed crap films like Battleship… So, no pun intended, kind of a hit and miss director.
Based on true events, this film tells the story of the workers that were caught in the horrendous BP oil disaster that happened on Deepwater Horizon in 2010. This incident has been now documented as the worst oil disaster in U.S. history and this movie tackles the events leading up to the misfortune, as well as how it could’ve been possibly prevented.
I can’t in good conscience fluff up what I thought about this movie. Without a doubt, this has to be one of the most poignant and impactful films of the year. Boy, oh boy… *Marty McFly voice* This is heavy.
Mark Wahlberg is the standard everyday joe and he does a fantastic job of portraying that subtle, but very likable family man. Of course, he has a couple of Wahlberg-isms like he does in a lot of his movies, such as his quippy one liners and disguised Boston accent, but that’s just the norm for him. The film does a great job in the first act to give you a sense of who Wahlberg’s character is, taking the time to develop his personality and it’s time well spent so that you’ll actually care about the character.
Kurt Russell is also, very good in this film. A lot of his dialogue was very serious and he actually delivered some really chilling lines during certain points throughout the film. It’s another very solid performance to add to Russell’s long-running resume.
There’s also an underlying sense of tension throughout the story and what I mean by that is the drawn out suspension of “when is everything gonna go wrong?” because you know it’s coming. When the employees arrive to base and the build up to the actual disaster begins, the films takes certain scenes and makes them feel like anything could go wrong at any moment. The cinematography and the usage of an excellent sound design is what gave those certain scenes that extra sense of on-edge uncertainty and realism.
If there’s anything wrong with this film, I’d be nitpicking. You could say the first act takes time to get rolling, but like I said, it’s time well spent because that way, you’ll care about what happens to certain characters going forward. As far as the action goes, it’s seriously non-stop like there is no time to breathe. The action feels very “spur of the moment” in some regards, but I believe that’s what Peter Burg was going for when directing this film. In the real life events of the accident, the people trapped in that explosion had to act as quick as possible to survive, just like this film portrays very accurately.
In the end, Deepwater Horizon was an emotional roller coaster of a film that involved real life, history making implications. As great as it was for a lot of people to survive this kind of disaster, a good plenty lost their lives that day and this movie doesn’t end on the happiest of notes as expected. This film is a great tribute and a solid history lesson for our society and Corporate America as a whole.
I’m going to give Deepwater Horizon an “A-” on the movie grading scale. I’m sure BP has learned their lesson by now: don’t be a bunch of cheap, ignorant scumbags and risk the lives of your employees. Duly note that a hundred times. Bold it, underline it, etc.
As always, thanks so much for reading and make sure to stay posted to Frank’s Takes for more reviews. Until next time, keep it 100.