Deepwater Horizon

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Didn’t expect to love this one.  Yet, I did.

This thrill ride is a true story of the worst oil rig disaster in US history, as the tragedy that was known as Deepwater Horizon is told in this new film by director Peter Berg.

In April 2010, a series of events took place that led to explosions aboard Deepwater Horizon, an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that was to drill a hole and set up another oil rig to be able to pull the oil from the Gulf.  Problem was that some corporate bigwigs were trying to push the crew to get started without proper testing.

Mark Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, one of the crew on the ship, and he does a wonderful job.  Wahlbeg is the heart of the film and really shows the heroism that was on display among these men and women.  Kurt Russell plays “Mister Jimmy”, the head of the ship and a man who is proud of his safety record.  Jimmy gets into a debate with the BP bigwigs, in particular Vidrine (John Malkovich) who is able to talk the crew into pushing ahead despite their reservations.

The first part of this movie does a really good job of setting these characters up.  Mike especially as we see his beautiful wife Felicia (Kate Hudson) and his charming daughter (Stella Allen).  Some people might complain that the beginning was too slow, but I thought it struck the perfect balance between setting up story and character.  And it made us care for these people whose lives would be placed in jeopardy later in the movie.

Then once the disaster movie kicked in…holy crap… it was suspense wrapped up in tension.  The special effects were astonishing, as I found myself gasping multiple times at the amazing and terrifying situation these people found themselves in.  The film does a great job of making the audience feel as if they too were stuck in these situations.  You could almost feel the heat of the fire closing in on you.

I will say that there was too much use of shaky cam for my tastes in some of the action scenes, but it felt like it made sense as to why it was used.  If Peter Berg wanted the audience to have the POV of the characters, than this worked well.  I just wish I could see things better.

This was a marvelous time in the theater, as I squirmed and worried as these characters were put into danger.  I cared about them and I watched in awe as the suspense was masterfully leveled by Peter Berg and the talented cast and crew.  Amazing visuals compounded the already tense situation and made into one of the better disaster movies you are going to see.  I really loved this film.

4.4 stars



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