Digging deep: Against all expectations, Deepwater Horizon excels

If someone had told me a few weeks ago that Deepwater Horizon would be one of the best movies this year, I’d say they were crazy.

I would have been very, very wrong.

Deepwater Horizon is directed by Peter Berg, stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez and John Malkovich. It tells the true story of the men and women who worked on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig during its disastrous failure in 2010. When I first heard they were making a film based on this, my mind instantly jumped to disaster movie.

While this film isn’t short of huge explosions and large set pieces, at its heart it is truly about families and heroes. The film follows the point of view of Mike Williams, an engineer on the rig. It opens with him and his family in an incredibly heartfelt scene with his daughter, making you instantly invested in this family. Then it proceeds to the infamous rig and sets the scene for the tragedy that we all know is going to happen sooner or later. The movie then introduces Jimmy Harrell, the director of the titular Deepwater Horizon, as well as John Malkovich, the slimy business man from BP.

This movie does not set out to paint BP in a good light.

What “Deepwater Horizon”  accomplishes insanely well is tension. Director Peter Berg knew that everyone going into this movie would, inevitably, know the eventual fate of the drilling rig. Berg takes advantage of this, continuously ramping up the tension from the minute Wahlberg’s character sets foot on the rig.

As most people are well aware, all hell breaks lose, and I really mean it. The scene with the explosion is absolutely nuts. From then on, the movie becomes a tale of survival and heroism. The score by Steve Jablonsky is also very notable, working very well with the tense nature of the film.

Deepwater Horizon was nothing short of amazing and something you should truly see in theaters before it goes out.

 

Written by Allie Rosen ’19

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