Deepwater Horizon


(spoiler free)

Many film fans have dubbed the 2016 summer blockbuster season a disaster, with sequels disappointing audiences, reboots failing to recapture excitement and a lack of original ideas. However, since we have moved into autumn things are slowly starting to get better with something pretty special being released every weekend. Would new disaster flick ‘Deepwater Horizon‘ be able to contribute to redeeming the cinema catastrophe of the last few months?

This film tells the true story of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and consequential BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The narrative really takes its time in the beginning, starting with a clever way of explaining what exactly happens on the Deepwater without boring the audience with complicated terminology, which I’m sure exists.  From this point on we spend time with various characters and the film allows time for them to establish themselves. I enjoyed when our characters got to the rig and we got to see the different sections of this workplace, the script, acting and directing all succeeded in creating an authentic environment and again whilst taking its time, it does so confidentially meaning that the film will easily hold your attention. When disaster does strike it’s worth waiting for. However if you are expecting an over the top, leave your brain at the door type film you may be disappointed. This is a very grounded disaster flick and it avoids most of the usual cliches of the genre. It isn’t drawn out and it reaches its finale a lot quicker than expected. This was so refreshing though and fitting for the victims of this tragedy, as their stories haven’t been too far dramatised for the sake of entertainment. 

The only part of the film that I wasn’t fussed on was the effects. Often theses didn’t look great however I feel this is much to do with the setting and content of the film. The dark nature of the underwater scenes, the dirty brown mud and the smoke filled flames don’t really lend themselves to making crystal clear scenes of action so this can be forgiven. Anyway there is plenty of other aspects to enjoy such as the strong cast recruited to star here. Mark Wahlberg reunites with ‘Lone Survivor’ director Peter Berg with similar results. Wahlberg nails the hard-working, family man and is a real likable lead here. His chemistry with on screen wife, Kate Hudson, is very believable and thanks to the scenes devoted to exploring his family life the audience will feel adequately invested in him. Kurt Russell plays the man in charge of Deepwater Horizon and as you’d expect is appropriately commanding in the role. The best part of his performance is watching him spar with BP boss, John Malkcovich over safety on the rig. Other supporting cast members include Dylan O’Brien and Gina Rodriguez who also perform convincingly. Thanks to this cast, the careful build up and the true nature of this story ‘Deepwater Horizon’ is incredibly emotional and rightfully so. Peter Berg has really developed over his years as a director and now his last two efforts are powerful pieces of film giving him rock solid foundations for whatever is next.

The story of the biggest oil spill in U.S. history had us all watching the news back in 2010 and hopefully now ‘Deepwater Horizon’ will have us all gripped in the cinema.  It’s certainly the best disaster movie of the year, easily surpassing the likes of ‘The 33’ and ‘The Finest Hours’. It does this through its talented cast, grounded disaster action and by taking its time before the payoff of the finale. The best thing about ‘Deepwater Horizon’ though is just how powerful it is, credit to the director for achieving the perfect tone for this tragic true story.

Rating – 9/10   

Question: What is the most emotional disaster film you’ve seen?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)

Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the movie! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.


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