Before my review of this film, I would like to provide some background on the actual event and how it affected me. The oil spill happened in 2010 and I was a freshman in high school. I was naïve and stupid, but I was thinking about what I wanted to do with my life since the school year was about to be over. I was honestly deciding if I wanted to be an engineer with no real backup plan. After seeing how much damage was caused and how terrible it was, I decided all together that I did not want that job at all. So I decided to go look for a career which ultimately failed: medical. I probably would’ve been better off, but my dad really thought I should do petroleum. After this event, I completely scratched it off my list.
So this film is a dramatization of the BP oil spill on the Deepwater Horizon. It starts off by introducing us to Mike (Mark Wahlberg), Andrea (Gina Rodriguez), and Mr. Jimmy (Kurt Russell) as they board an airplane to get to the oil well. Mike explains to his kid (Stella Allen), wife (Kate Hudson) and the audience what exactly they will be doing. It then details all of the events and decisions by the staff that leads to the eventual destruction of this oil rig.
This movie was directed by Peter Berg and I have honestly only seen one of his movies. I know it’s quite the tragedy, but Lone Survivor didn’t interest me as much. Either way, I definitely enjoyed this film more than Battleship. I thought the shots were mostly nice. There were some shaky cam moments that got me distracted. I liked the action and the last half of the movie looks great.
The performances varied on this film and the standouts definitely showed. I thought Kurt Russell was amazing and had an infectious energy on screen. The polar opposite was John Malkovich who articulated his words very strangely. I didn’t think he fit in the movie at all and his performance made me feel slimy. Gina Rodriguez was great. I thought she played the tough girl well and rooted for her the entire movie. I thought Mark Wahlberg was okay. I think he had the correct look, but he just seemed too much like his real self. I just got taken out of it by his performance. I think he would’ve been great if I didn’t know anything about him. The most surprising performance was Dylan O’Brien who shocked me. He was fun and likable. He never felt out of place and he was a dude just trying to find his place in the world.
The only thing I didn’t like too much about the film was how I felt like it couldn’t handle the open shots. The underwater shots were fantastic. I felt claustrophobic and the feeling re-emerged again for me when there were shots in the rig. It is something that I think is hard to feel, but I did. On the flip side, I thought the open shots never felt open. I kept forgetting that the rig was more than 2 minutes away from land. I’m not sure if it was the b-crew doing all of the traveling shots or what, but I just didn’t feel like I was ever in the open. I wish that there would’ve been more of a balance between those two things.
Overall, I enjoyed the film and I would recommend you go see it especially if you were affected by the disaster. I don’t think it’s going to win the best picture nomination, but I’d like to see Kurt Russell get nominated for best supporting actor. I don’t think that all of the events happened exactly like they did during the film, but I had a good time. It was a fun movie that kept my attention, so I was pleased.