Cinematic Releases: Deepwater Horizon (2016) - Reviewed

In April of 2010, the U.S. suffered the worst oil spill in its history. Told in a highly realistic presentation,the story of the Deepwater Horizon and the bravery of its crew members is one of the better films of 2016. 

Using stunning visuals, impeccable performances, and a gritty sense of mortality, the film will undoubtedly garner some attention come Oscar season for Peter Berg and his crew. Rather than overdramatizing the situation and adding sensationalism to the already tragic turn of events, this film centers on capturing the human elements and the brave few that banded together to survive the fiery fate that awaited them. Amazing graphics work mixed with a stellar cast makes this a must watch in the theater. Unlike many other disaster or catastrophe flicks, this isn't preachy or corny. Deepwater Horizon gives us just enough character development to know who the main characters are without pandering to the audience or feeling forced.

The film stars a bevy of top level actors including Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, and the omnipresent Kurt Russell. In usual form, Russell once again proves his worth as a believable every man. Playing the character of Jimmy, Kurt reminds us why he's always remained a key Hollywood player. His performance is another in a long line of relatable roles that hinge on his attention to detail and physicality. Wahlberg strains to alter his streak of similar characters as he does a great job but never breaks type. This is more standard Wahlberg carrying the weight of a heavy dramatic film while never pushing himself too hard. Hudson is barely in the picture but still remains a key focus as she bats her lashes and plays a convincing housewife. And then there's creepy John Malkovich. Oh, creepy John Malkovich. Need I say more? The man was created to play scummy, self serving, maniacal roles like these. 

mark wahlberg
Nooooooo!!!!! You burned my Funky Bunch cd's. Oil spill be damned! 

Where Deepwater Horizon really succeeds is in its presentation of what happened aboard the oil rig. You get a feel for the BP reps that caused the accident. And audiences are given a real look at how the industry uses a less than cautious attitude when drilling for oil. There are moments of sheer tension that had me squirming in my seat. At times, you can literally feel the flames bursting off the screen, sucking its viewers right into the awful moments that claimed men's lives. Using technological terminology and offering insight to the inner workings of the vessel adds a nice touch that many other films would avoid at all costs. 

Deepwater Horizon doesn't cut its losses. It's the epitome of how it should be done. There is a sense of urgency to the story that sends a hard lined message about the dedication of these crews, their sense of companionship, and the money grubbing political games that caused this accident. With BP shown as the absolute cause of the spill through their own recklessness and selfishness, Deepwater Horizon is hands down one of my favorites of the year. See it. But wear a lifejacket.