More To Say #21: Deepwater Horizon

I was on my vacation to Orlando when this came out so I never got around to checking this out so, this is my thoughts on Deepwater Horizon:

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Deepwater Horizon is a 2016 American biopic disaster film directed by Peter Berg, written by Matthew Sand and Matthew Michael Carnahan, and starring an ensemble cast including Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien and Kate Hudson. It is based on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Principal photography began on April 27, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and was theatrically released in the United States on September 30, 2016. It received generally positive reviews and grossed over $119 million worldwide. The film is nominated for two Oscars at the 89th Academy Awards: Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects.

In April 2010, there is no oil exploration operation in the Gulf of Mexico to compare with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig with its size or sheer depth of its drilling. However, the project for the BP oil company is beset with technical difficulties to the point where the general operational supervisor, Jimmy Harrell, and his Chief Electrical Engineer, Mike Williams, are concerned potentially dangerous trouble is brewing. Unfortunately, visiting BP executives, frustrated by the project’s long delays, order curtailed site inspections and slanted system tests to make up for lost time even as Harrell, Williams and his team helplessly protest for the sake of proper safety. On April 20, the workers’ fears are realized in the worst possible way when the rig’s various structural and system flaws spark a catastrophic cascade of failures that would create a massive blowout and explosion that threatens them all, even as it also begins the worst environmental disaster in US history.

The last time director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg collaborated on a project together, we got Lone Survivor, while certainly not a perfect movie, it was still an action packed and intense war drama and certainly a vastly better movie than Berg’s last directorial effort, Battleship, which was basically made to get funding for this so Battleship actually did contribute something to society…still doesn’t explain why it was such a shitty movie but Lone Survivor was excellent.

And Deepwater Horizon is just as good, if not even a little better, than Lone Survivor was.

It helps that you have an amazing all-star cast of talented people on board with Wahlberg giving yet another really solid performance in this and this also has Kate Hudson, who is really solid in this after starring in nothing but crap for a long time finally making a nice return to form as an actress, Hudson’s father, Kurt Russell, also really good in this, John Malkovich, who is always going to be fun to watch no matter what he’s in, Gina Rodriguez, the excellent actress from Jane The Virgin who is now rising up as an actress, and Dylan O’Brien, who’s also a pretty good rising actor even if I’m not the biggest fan of The Maze Runner movies. Everybody in this movie does give an excellent performance in this, the performances are one of the strongest elements that keep the film afloat….no pun intended since this takes place on a oil rig in the middle of the Gulf Of Mexico.

The other thing that blows the movie out of the water is the amazing visual effects, that’s where a lot of the budget went for this and you know what, it looks really cool and it plays well into the drama and the action of when this rig blows up, it looks authentic for most of the film, there are a couple of bits where it does look too overly CG but they aren’t as distracting as you would think they would be.

The dramatic elements work for the most part, there are very few moments where they go over the top but overall, they do an excellent job of allowing the more dramatic moments to be realistic.

If I had one complaint towards the movie, the script is a little too generic for something like this, there are too many points where the script is mimicking other movies of this type, World Trade Center, Captain Phillips, and United 93 to name a few, much better movies that didn’t just rely on the actors to sell a serious story.

Overall, I do really like Deepwater Horizon, the acting, the visuals and the dramatic moments are what carry the movie over, if the script had been written better, this would’ve been one of the best movies from last year but as it stands, it’s a competently made well done movie, I would definitely recommend it either when it comes on FXX or TNT in about two years or if you can find it dirt cheap on Blu-Ray or DVD, it’s not worth paying full price for it. I actually bought a new copy of this off of Amazon for about $9 for the Blu-Ray combo pack, find it for that price and it’s worth the watch, other than that, wait for TV.

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