Movie Review: DeepWater Horizon

The Deepwater Horizon is/was a semi-submersible offshore drilling platform, located in the Gulf of Mexico.  In 2010 it caught fire due to several issues that compounded into a ‘perfect storm’ in which 11 rig employees lost their lives.  The movie, titled ‘Deepwater Horizon’ stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russel, and John Malkovich in which a little bit of backstory leads us up to the events of the Deepwater Horizon.

Many of us will remember the events that unfolded in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, and how much environmental damage was caused by the fire and oil spill, but not much is known about the events that led up to the disaster.  While this movie is fiction, it is based on some true facts.  This is important to realize as this movie is a tense drama, mostly for theatrical effect.  It wouldn’t be a good movie otherwise.

And yes, I said it. This is a good movie in my opinion.  I heard and read some reviews prior to going to see the movie with Tali. These reviews said it wasn’t a great movie, it was just a plain ordinary drama, and that Mark Wahlberg was just in a role he seems to play more frequently than not.  While I agree that Mark Wahlberg does play this type of role fairly frequently, it is a good movie.  It shows you a small sampling of all the working parts that go into an off-shore drill rig, how many people are on it, working tirelessly for a large company, working so we can keep driving our cars.

While the oil-field jargon in the movie is very front and center, you don’t need to work in the oil industry to understand what a BOP is for example.  The movie gives you quick on-screen blurbs that can bring people up to speed on what they are talking about, and it flows nicely throughout the movie.  Now having said that, being that I do work in the oil industry, it did bring a little bit of clarity to that side of the industry, a side that as a tech, I don’t normally get to see, but was aware of.  Tali on the other hand, hasn’t worked in the oil industry and after the movie I asked  her if it made sense to her and she agreed that it did, so don’t be afraid that there will be things you don’t understand, it is all clarified for you during the movie.

The main conflict in this movie can easily be seen fought out between corporate henchman (John Malkovich) and the rig boss (Kurt Russel) as they fight between saving the company money, and doing what is safe and right.  It is evident that one side will win, and because we all know what the outcome is for the movie, you know who wins.  This doesn’t detract in any way from the screen, as the actors do a top notch job performing their roles.  The only thing that really bugged me though was their southern accents and the way they kept saying ‘ceeement’.  The first few times it was ok, but it kept appearing in the movie and I found it a little annoying.

Overall, I enjoyed this movie a lot.  It had a lot of tense moments that bring you to the edge of your seat, even though you know the outcome of it all, but it just keeps you watching, and you don’t notice how quickly the movie fly’s past.  Clocking in at 1h 47min, you don’t notice it at all, which is a way I determine excellent story-telling.  At the end of the movie, prior to the credits they play a memorial to the actual workers that lost their lives on Deepwater Horizon, as well as bring you updates on some of the key people and where they are now.  It was very touching, and all done in good taste.

I highly recommend you go see this movie, either in the theater, or after release on DVD, but it is worth seeing 100%

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