Swanner: Deepwater Horizon is the name of the rig that was used by BP oil company to search for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. As you probably remember the rig blew up in 2010. This is the story of the day of the accident and the people involved. Peter Berg (Battleship) directs from a screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan (World War Z) and Matthew Sand (Ninja Assassin). The film follow Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) the chief electronic technician and Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell) the offshore Installation Manager.
Judd: Clocking in at 107 minutes with an abundance of information to cover, Berg, Carnahan, and Sand make good use of the time establishing characters and the basics of what it takes to drill an offshore well. Using John Malkovich as the villain was a brilliant casting choice, since he is such an instantly detestable actor – see: Burn After Reading.
Swanner: Agreed. I see Malkovich and I immediately hate his character. Of course he works for BP so that made me hate him more. The film is filled with a lot of characters, and we can’t know all of them, but the script does introduce us to many of the characters we’ll be following though the film. All the acting is solid, and I even mean Kate Hudson who plays Wahlberg’s wife.
Judd: For me, the biggest problem with the movie is that there is an unclear sense of space. In the beginning of the movie, they talk about how big the Deepwater Horizon is, saying, “Something that big should have been created by God,” but when hell breaks loose, I didn’t have a sense of who and what was where on the vessel. Having a sense of distance between Point A to Point B is a pretty important when your characters are literally running for their lives.
Swanner: That didn’t bother me or there was too much excitement for me to care. I love the way they moved the plot along while developing characters. The last half hour had spectacular special effects and kudos to the great stunt actors who went through a lot for my enjoyment. It’s playing at the IMAX which is a great venue for this action thriller.
Judd: At the end of the day, for me, Deepwater Horizon felt like a 70s disaster film – which is not a bad thing. The only thing missing was a theme song. The movie could have been a little more political, given the lives lost and damage done to the coast, but that could have cost ticket sales, and what studio is going to risk that?
Swanner: 3 ½ stars
Judd: 3 stars