Title: Deepwater Horizon Director: Peter Berg Year: 2016 Run time: 1hr 47m
“Mark Wahlberg leads an all-star cast in this unforgettably powerful film inspired by a thrilling story of real-life heroes. For the one hundred and twenty-six people aboard the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig, April 20, 2010, began like any normal day. Before day’s end, the world would bear witness to one of the greatest man-made disasters in U.S. history. Deepwater Horizon reveals the brave acts of the men and women who rose to the challenge—and risked everything to lead others to safety.”
1:57 – Who would have thought just some audio could be so captivating? 3:50 – Oof, I’ve never seen such a dramatic bubble. 7:05 – Do you drive a bike or ride it? 9:04 – Ha, that kid is brilliant. “The lamos come along like they did something.” 9:49 – I’ve never seen such dramatic coke, either. Great work. 12:51 – It is funny how much gas they require to get to the place to find the gas. 21:20 – “I don’t know if it’s stupid but it ain’t smart.” 25:44 – Random staring contest. 33:52 – “It’s flawed thinking. It’s hope as a tactic.” 48:22 – This film is doing a good job at impending doom. 52:32 – God that’s terrifying. 52:51 – Amazing that their windows have windscreen wipers on. 1:01:08 – You really never want to hear of anything exploding, let alone an oil rig. 1:02:25 – Didn’t know the coastguard had access to satellite imagery, that’s good. 1:05:48 – It’s heartening to see rescue efforts though. 1:06:56 – It’s all gone a bit Titanic. 1:12:13 – A massive plume of flames and water on fire isn’t enough authority for you? 1:16:15 – People are so brave. 1:26:46 – That doesn’t so much count as jumping as being thrown off an oil rig. 1:35:03 – Aww, a Hudson/Russell hug. 1:37:27 – Really nice touch.
It was obvious that this film was going to have explosions aplenty, fire and drama and all that. Somehow, it was even more loud and horrifying than I’d imagined - but that doesn’t mean it was bad.
Considering you go into it knowing what is going to happen (even if the details of how it came about are a revelation!), Peter Berg does an incredible job at building suspense. The first half of the film is tense and terrifying, despite it mostly being a bunch of engineers mooching around looking concerned.
Once the oil starts spouting and the fires begin, it’s sensory overload, more graphic than I’d imagined and in places quite difficult to watch. It’s also fascinating that there isn’t a huge amount of character development - we know about Wahlberg’s family back home, and there’s lots of chatter about Rodriguez’s car skills, but otherwise it’s really just faces and names. Despite that, you still really care about these people and are desperate to get them all to safety.
So overall, a loud and dramatic film that attacks all the senses, doesn’t have a lot of character development but still makes you care, and had me a bit weepy by the end.