Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O'Brien, Kate Hudson, Stella Allen.
Director: Peter Berg
Screenplay: J.C. Chandor & Matthew Michael Carnahan.
Deepwater Horizon surprised me in the best way possible. This movie took its time to set up the ultimate tragedy of the that killed 11 men and spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It took the time to really feel the impact of what happens when time and money get in the way of doing a very risky job in the most risky industry in the world. It shows that very safety test is essential and assuming under pressure is sadly a deathly exercise.
I was impressed by this movie because it treats all the characters as people—and even in other 'based on true events' tales, that does not always happen. I really enjoyed the beginning of introducing Mark Wahlberg's character Mike Williams and his relationship with his wife, Felicia (Kate Hudson). Their chemistry on screen is incredible, their interactions of love for each other and their daughter Sydney (Stella Allen), it took its time to get to know this man and his real life off the rig. This taking of time made sure that you cared for him and really needed to follow his journey.
And because we got to know him, it made getting to know the other characters on a similar level easier. The interaction on the rig feels familiar, these men and women know each other quite well at this point on a friendly professional level. The feeling of these people at work is something that is not usually well defined on screen, but they got the balance of friend and co-worker down to a tee; it is a different interaction than your friend at the bar.
The set-up of the oversight from BP I find the weakest part of the film; its sets them up as a villain. I understand the that office folk and men on the ground do have real differences and frustrations that hold true in this film, however I find Malkovich's portrayal as a little too evil and creepy. It is too much when you already had enough to not like these money conscious men in ill-fitting business attire which contrasts grossly with the green BP emblem on their shirts—sorry it is just something I noticed, please people in general make sure your shirt works with the colour of your company's colours, please for my own personal eyes alone.
All of this build up and explanation makes the final act so worth while, instead of the film starting later in the story and focussing on the horror of the oil rig catching fire would have been unfortunate so I am so happy that they took their time to tell the story right. We get to understand just how incredible these men are at their jobs, they are experts in their field and they work really, really hard. Mr. Jimmy (Kurt Russell) is an impressive man and presence, from Russell's portrayal we see this man's leadership quality. He is there for every member of the rig and takes nothing lightly. With the build up of the story we really got to delve into this man's ability to lead.
Genuinely good film that is just as much a story about a disaster as it is about work. This film let these men shine which is the greatest gift to give for the men who lost their lives in this catastrophe that could have been avoided if they just took a little bit more time to assess the situation. A solid film that shows how to tell a heroic story while still being true to the people, letting the people sing.