Delivering secrets from the deep, Deep water horizon tells a story of bravery and greed
Even though many of us fuzzily remember the BP Oil disaster from April 2010, we've never really been filled in on the stories of heroism and bravery that took place on the doomed oil rig, until now. Deepwater Horizon will help fill in the blanks, much as Sully did with the Miracle on the Hudson. The movie centers on Mike Williams, (Mark Wahlberg) the Chief Electronic Technician on the Deepwater Horizon. He's a family man, happily married with a wife (Kate Hudson) and daughter. He's headed back to work and traveling with him on the helicopter that ferries workers to the rig are Mr. Jimmy, played by Kurt Russell, a technician played by Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) and a couple of company men, played by John Malkovic and Brad Leland. When they arrive on their floating workplace, the team discovers a lot of scheduled work hasn't been completed because the company wanted to cut down on costs. The project was about six weeks behind schedule. Once on board, it's a battle of wills to get the rig up and running and in spite of their protestations, the project managers give in to pressure from the corporate guys. They conduct one test on the oil line that's inconclusive, but all hell breaks loose when they run a test on another. Soon the entire rig in a towering inferno, and that's when the movie really takes off. Williams, a former marine and natural leader on the the rig, finds himself in a series of life or death situations in which not only is his safety threatened, but the lives of others as well. The first part of the film is bogged down in setting the scene with a lot of oil rig lingo that the audience may not be able to follow. But once the you-know-what hits the fan, director Peter Berg turns this into a taut action tale of danger and survival. He is careful to show the bravery of those who risked their lives to try to save the rig and others, without getting sentimental. It should be noted that 11 people died in the disaster and the realization of that terrible loss is portrayed in one of the most poignant scenes in the film. Wahlberg, who worked with Berg on Lone Survivor, turns in a wonderful performance as a man who wants to save his friends and get back to his family. John Malkovich, who is so good at being bad, is rather diabolical as the BP hack who wants to get the black gold running through the pipes, no matter what. At an hour and 47 minutes, action film directors should look as this as a case study in how to do it action and disaster right. There are no overblown effects, and the action/danger is not dragged out for an unnecessary 20 minutes. Deepwater Horizon is definitely worth the price of a ticket. *The film studio didn't provide enough clips to tell a video story, so we've provided the trailer. ** Spoiler alert. Kate Hudson is Kurt Russell's step-daughter, but the two never appear on screen together. Country Music star Trace Adkins makes a cameo appearance.