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By Richard von Busack September 30, 2016
Before declining into standard uplifting moments of waving flags, prayer and action movie super-feats, Deepwater Horizon is a thrilling procedural about the worst oil rig disaster in history. Director Peter Berg (Lone Survivor) approaches these roughnecks from the opposite angle that Michael Bay would have taken: they're more soft spoken and less profane than you'd expect.
The exploratory well that the floating Deepwater Horizon was trying to tap was nicknamed "the well from hell"—the drilling project was 43 days and $50 million over budget, and British Petroleum is accused here of cutting corners on safety and maintenance. Berg stresses the human price of the disaster; the ecological disaster to come is signaled only by one startling image of an oil-soaked and screaming pelican flying blind and smashing up a control room.
Mark Wahlberg is the lead, but far more interesting is one of those classical-versus-baroque acting duels that makes movies so much fun. Kurt Russell, with an economical haircut and a white-tipped mustache, is Jimmy, the most revered engineer aboard. He's the traditional disaster movie archetype—the guy who smells trouble before anyone else. Smiling like a treacherous lion, John Malkovich is Vidrine, the company man, togged out in a sweaty blue Oxford shirt with the BP medallion on it. The Great Malkovich has a bogus but endearing Cajun accent, and the two just play off each other, the stalwart versus the slippery.
The home front stuff (groan, Kate Hudson as a self-declared "simple country girl") adds Hamburger Helper to the dish. Once the disaster starts, it has its share of awe: exploding valves, rupturing pipes, rivets firing like .45 slugs, and computer screens reading "ANNULAR FAILURE" (which sounds like something you wouldn't want your doctor to diagnose). Finding the happy human side of this mess, Deepwater Horizon ends with an album of pictures of the real victims and survivors of the doomed platform. You never saw a group of people who looked less like movie stars. To quote a line in the movie, that tactic may not be stupid, but it sure ain't smart.
By Per Gunnar Jonsson March 4, 2017
As expected this is a bit of a propaganda movie against BP but that was of course rather expected. It is still watchable. The dramatization is fairly well done and the effects are believable as well as enjoyable. If you watch it as a disaster drama and special effects movie it is definitely okay.
As a documentary, well I would say that it falls short. The movie only covers the initial explosion. Once the platform is evacuated the movie stops. I am somewhat disappointed at that. I would at least have liked to see the attempts to put out the fire. Where are the scenes with the boats trying to douse the rig with water for instance?
I would also have liked the film to cover the attempts to close the well, the technical challenges involved and the fight against the oil spill. This is not at all covered.
I feel that the film attempts to ride on public opinion, pretend to be a action/disaster movie as well as a fact telling one and cash in on the accident. The action/disaster parts were well done but the movie left out a lot of the, perhaps less spectacular, drama around the accident. It is a shame because now it became a rather ordinary movie as well as giving a distasteful feeling they were just trying to make some quick bucks on the disaster.
That also made the factual parts somewhat in doubt. I feel the movie is making a strong effort to portray BP as willful criminals. I am sure there is plenty of blame that should fly BP￢ﾀﾙs way but at the same time one can read that ￢ﾀﾜOn November 8, 2010, the inquiry by the Oil Spill Commission revealed its findings that BP had not sacrificed safety in attempts to make money, but that some decisions had increased risks on the rig.￢ﾀﾝ. As always, things are not black and white and oil drilling is risky business after all.
Anyway, enough ramblings, I found the movie okay, nothing more and nothing less.
By Reno March 19, 2017
**To remind us our errors and limits.**
It was a surprising film. Because it was based on a real event, but there's nothing much about heroism which is essential for most of this kind of film and its success to inspire the viewers. I liked that. They just wanted to tell the story. Not to create a hero nor a villain. But due to the casting, Mark Wahlberg looks the centre of the story. And also points out a negative character without confirming anything properly. But if the film is depicting the real incident correctly, then it was no man's fault. It should be a technical error that led to the man's push over the limit.
It's April 20 2010 about 60 kms away southern coast of the US in the Gulf of Mexico. A new batch arrives to continue drilling in the deep sea as part of oil exploration. When they felt they have got it, but it's only a back foot. Small small errors, following a big blow, the entire crew with the greater effort to stop it ends in vain. Finally, it is a matter of saving their own life than the drilling platform. With lots of action, how one of the biggest man made disaster in the recent time comes to end covered in the remaining part.
From the director of 'Lone Survivor' and his part in the project was appreciable. It is another sea disaster theme like the recent 'The Finest Hours'. The film was mainly developed from the articles and also got nominated for the Oscars in two categories, but did not win any. Visual effects were the key for such film and I liked those parts. I appreciate for recreating the event for the world know what really happened. It is a must see, not for entertainment purpose, but it will work for that as well. Recommended!
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