Please note the review below may contain minor spoilers - I've done my best to keep them to a minimum.
Itís such a startling difference having also reviewed Anthropoid just prior to this, a film that much like Deepwater Horizon tackles a true life story but in a remarkably different fashion.
For what is essentially a shallow two act film - with the team going to the oil rig, then getting off when disaster strikes - Deepwater Horizon starts off surprisingly well, creating a great sense of foreboding from the offset; from a coke can exploding in the kitchen - highlighting, albeit in microfashion exactly what is soon going to occur - to a sudden bird strike within the helicopter, giving a hint to our characters that today just might not be their day. Against these minor omens we have cuts of the camera looming down to the seabed at regular intervals giving a growing sense of escalation, unbeknownst to the crew and the wider world. What also else helps sell that tension and create sense of realism is with the off-hand dialog aboard the oil rig, with technical terms being thrown at you every direction which you will rightly make no sense of but creating a lived in feel, of a real crew with a storied history together.
Unfortunately once Deepwater Horizon emerges from those murky depths - with all hell breaking loose - it turns into an entirely different film, from drama to a disaster movie and unfortunately not for the better. The starting point is the characters themselves, being mere Hollywood cliches. From the family man who turns into oil rig action man and in turn is seemingly part of every single aspect of the drama in some manner, to the Ďbad guysí of the film; the rich oil tycoons who would feel right at home wearing monocles and carrying around sacks full of money. For an event that was so dramatic as it is - and involved very real people - they unfortunately overcooked it with the drama, coming across as disingenuous and failing to capture the reality we know it to be.
From building half of a near perfect scale set of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig itself, to conversing with their real life counterparts each day, itís obvious the filmmakers made a real concerted effort in crafting the tale, itís a shame then that whilst their characters may be caked in mud and grit looking the part, their personalities fail to shine through and make you ultimately care for their plight. But from the perspective of a disaster flick, the production values are top notch, with CG adding a layer of bombastic action that is sure to delight genre fans who are seeking it.
Deepwater Horizon is a movie of two halves, the better half being a drama that ramps up into a foreboding explosion, itís just a shame then from that point on it falls into Hollywood cliche and disaster tropes we've all seen a million times before.
- 3 Out of 5 Stars
Lack of commentary
- Lone Survivor
No, theres multiple scenes of death and injury.
Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg are currently teaming up for their third life-to-drama outing with upcoming film Patriots Day, telling the events of the Boston marathon bombing.
The film opens with a real audio clip from an investigation delved into the events that unfolded.
Father and daughter Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson have been longing to make a film together, unfortunately they only share one scene in Deepwater Horizon.