Based on the incredible true story of the biggest oil spill in US history back in 2010, Mark Wahlberg leads in this heroic, action-packed and distressing drama that has emerged as one of my favourite films of 2016. Obviously based on the true events on the Deepwater Horizon, the story is centred on New York Times’ article titled ‘Deepwater Horizons Final Hours’ which depicts the explosion and the consequences of the huge oil spill. This was a huge hitting story that shocked the world at the time. If it wasn’t for the loss of lives aboard the Deepwater Horizon, it was the negligence made by BP officials aboard it, too. Let alone the catastrophic effects it’s made on the ocean and the wildlife that lives in it too.
Packed with a brilliant cast, it’s clear from the start that director Peter Berg didn’t just want to make an all-out action movie that was going to put the drama and suspense to one side. Mark Wahlberg known mostly for his action movie roles was perfectly cast to lead the film and to my surprise, gives a great performance as Mike Williams. To help along the way, you have Kurt Russell and John Malkovich. Both experienced and flexible in their acting talents, these two really turn out probably their best performances in a long while, especially John Malkovich. He commands and displays power and negligence in a perfect way to portray the BP representative who critically underestimated the dangers and risk aboard the ship.
Not boasting the greatest resume as a director, Peter Berg is showing huge improvements through the years as he finally hones down on the type of the films he should be making. Lone Survivor back in 2014 was a good example of taking on real life stories and making them successful on screen. He has upped the ante and produced a great piece of work in Deepwater Horizon. By far and away his best piece of work as a director, Berg recreates that fatal night where the ship blew up and took away many innocent lives and left many others mentally and physically scarred forever. Berg’s attention to detail and ability to pull off incredible shots makes Deepwater Horizon all round a visual spectacle.
Alongside the directing, you also need a great soundtrack. They successfully did this with Steve Jablonsky creating an incredibly moving and heart pumping score that keeps you glued to the screen. Working previously with Hans Zimmer, you can tell that he has been heavily influenced by the German composer. The soundtrack almost has this 90’s feel to it which compliments the film brilliantly.
Deepwater Horizon is almost faultless. I enjoyed it a lot, mostly I was surprised by the quality of the film all round. I questioned having Mark Wahlberg as the lead and Peter Berg as a director. But you can tell that both have pulled it out the bag and have impressed on a number of areas. Wahlberg doesn’t give a typical performance, he shows emotion and doesn’t exactly come across as a hero, and he’s just a normal guy trying to survive. Additionally, Berg has made a film that hits every level of emotion on the right note. Action packed, tension from minute one and emotion throughout the movie. My only small qualm for the film is that it goes very ‘America’ towards the end as you see the typical shot of the American flag flying in the wind. Overall though, it’s a fantastic film that is a worthy showing of the disastrous explosion six years ago. Deepwater Horizon is one of my favourites this year and I highly recommended you go and watch. 4.5 out of 5 stars.