Underrated. So you may have heard about a little event in 2010 known as the BP Oil Spill. This is the story of what went down on the rig, showing the grunt workers just going about their day to day work, as well as the BP employees responsible for cutting the corners that led to the disaster itself. I decided to check out both of the 2016 Peter Berg/Mark Wahlberg collaborations in very close proximity with each other, and I have to say, they make for a pretty good team. I’ve liked every single Peter Berg movie since he got Battleship out of his system, and between this, Patriots Day and Lone Survivor, the two of them just work well together. Berg manages to get a really good performance out of Wahlberg in Deepwater Horizon, even better than Patriots Day.
He leads a very strong ensemble cast, and it is a very strong group effort.
This is a film that does a terrific job of putting you in the heat of the moment. Much like Patriots Day, I have a relatively good recollection of this event because it occurred so recently, but I don’t feel like I know what all occurred at the time of the incident. This movie makes you feel like you’re hanging out with a bunch of co-workers on the ship before it all goes down, literally. I was wholly engaged by this for the entire runtime, and I think that that has a lot to do with how good the cast is in this. Wahlberg is better than he usually is; I feel that he is underrated as an actor, but he needs the right roles to work with. I thought Kurt Russell really brought a lot to this supporting role, as did everybody else. You do feel the history of all of these relationships, even though you are just being introduced to everybody. Of course, they are all talking about rig stuff, and some stuff goes over your head, but that’s never really a problem; you always understand the context, even though you may not be able to 100% understand precisely what they are saying.
It’s a humungous tool that you never want to lose control of. Clearly.
One remarkable thing about this is the sound design of it. This is something that Peter Berg excels at, and if you remember Lone Survivor, he has a way of making you really feel every single painful injury experienced. This is exactly like that in that regard, and it really makes you feel like you are smack dab in the thick of it. I was in this movie from start to finish, and I think it is understated with how intense it ultimately ends up getting. It gives you some good acting, some great special effects, fills you in with an event that you probably didn’t know all of the angles of, and thoroughly entertains from start to finish. What’s not to love?
Deepwater Horizon (2016) ****
– Critic for Hire
Want to see where this fell in my list of best films of the 2016? See for yourself here.