The story of BP’s mass oil spill in 2010 flooded news streams for weeks after as oil permeated the oceans and tainted anything in its path. The cause of which would rattle companies throughout the globe, but who paid the price and who had to live through such trauma?

Peter Berg’s action disaster epic teams himself with Mark Wahlberg for a second outing after a successful run during soldier thriller Lone Survivor. He’s joined by Jane the Virgin actress Gina Rodriguez and Kate Hudson, who after so many years finds an excuse to star alongside real life dad Kurt Russell. The harrowing true story of a group of offshore oil workers upon the Deepwater Horizon, this recounts the lead up to what’s classed as the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

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The film essentially splits into two enormous sections; the first banding the characters together, establishing those that are blatantly of focal importance and the others that, whilst proved undeniably important upon the true oil vessel, are cast to the back for the big screen, and the second of which relies heavily on disaster spectacle, relying on the last thirty-to-forty minutes of the film to truly heighten awareness of the sheer and alarming enormity of the catastrophe.

Wahlberg and Rodriguez carry the majority of the film’s character progression, the former playing real-life chief electronics technician on the Deepwater Horizon Mike Williams and the latter playing Andrea Fleytas who at the time was a 23 year old who helped operate the rig’s sophisticated navigation machinery, both providing blistering, rugged and affecting performances. John Malkovich is BP’s villainous Donald Vidrine, a well site leader. The film hones in on the spectacular idiocy of the company’s blatant disregard for safety over welfare of dollar signs, thus the film’s highest social commentary on power and greed and the hands that churn the handle to promote with such an influenced effect. Never does Berg’s story feel one-sided, however. We can place blame, and there’s a ton of it to place, but Matthew Sand’s story never dwindles on excessive blame.

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The moment the rig crumbles, explodes and blazes from the inside out, the dialogue is almost inaudible as the sheer hell exuded on the rig is envisioned with such ferocity. The entire endeavour is orchestrated with a heavy understanding for detail. The panic is universal and the mayhem is horribly realised as workers are hurtled back and forth, but Berg’s intense portrayal and honourable depiction nobly pays tribute to those that fell under the weight of greed, no matter how thinly depicted their actual characters are portrayed.

This spectacularly constructed disaster epic is buoyed by fantastic performances and wholeheartedly gives distinction for the heroes that were born in the flames whilst playing an important part in giving extensive description in the lead up to BP’s mass and fatal screw up.

4/5

Dir: Peter Berg

Scr: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Matthew Sand

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Kate Hudson

Prd: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, David Womark

Music: Steve Jablonsky

DOP: Enrique Chediak

Runtime: 107 minutes

Country: USA

Deepwater Horizon is in cinemas now