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Movie Review: Deepwater Horizon

Deepwater Horizon is the dramatisation of the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, considered America's biggest oil disaster in history. The spill flooded the area with 4.9 million barrels of oil over an area 176,100km. You'll remember the videos of black beaches with sad looking dead seagulls, however the movie starring Mark Wahlberg as one of the survivors Mike Williams focuses on the human element. Honestly sitting down and watching it you realise that when the event occurred these men and women on the frontline completely fell out of the spotlight. “Yeah sure 11 guys died but check out this dolphin.”

This focus on the workers stretches across the entire film, avoiding the court cases and environmental impact afterwards to instead focus on the explosion and events leading up immediately before.

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There's a solid lead up beforehand, giving you enough time to get involved with the characters before oil hits the fan. The events that occur are pretty horrific and it's surprising that BP wasn't responsible for even more death aboard the Deepwater Horizon. The film shows you that what happened wasn't just a big burning fireball in the center of a rig. fumes got sucked through ventilation shafts and lit the entire place up, and throughout the film you'll be saying to yourself “How did anyone survive this??”

The film gives you a solid figure to hate in the weirdly accented John Malkovich as Donald Vidrine, the BP asshole who hammers home that the bean counters should never be left in charge of anything because people don't fit on an excel spreadsheet. The accent is so strange I really didn't know what to make of it. But Malkovich did his job and made us hate BP with a renewed passion that I honestly couldn't drum up back in the day.

While it was being shot Wahlberg insisted that the real Mike Williams stayed to make sure everything that happened accurately depicted what actually happened on the Deepwater Horizon. This is similiar to what Wahlberg and Director Peter Berg did when working on Lone Survivor together, keeping Marcus Luttrel on set as an advisor.

If this film is worth anything, it's good for getting everyone pissed at BP again. They deserve it, and the sentences the men received for manslaughter were too short, letting them off the hook in 2015. Fuck those guys.

The film also features lots of impressive panning shots of the american flag, which is a prerequisite for all these disaster survival films that show off the response skills of various public departments.

If you're interested in helping the rest of the crew tell their story (as it's been missing till now) they're currently trying to crowdfund a doco of their own.

But in the meantime, this is a good film that will put some well deserved spotlight on the people who were on the ground.