Here is something I do not think we have had heretofore in this series, a current movie review. So here goes.
Note: Deepwater Horizon was not filmed on the continent of Asia, and I did not have to read subtitles while watching.
We were on our way to the Eastern Shore Center where I intended to go see The Girl on the Train with my stepdaughter. It seemed like it would probably be dark and dreary, but I like Emily Blunt and have not read the book so thought that maybe it would be a suitable “thriller” for a Saturday afternoon. However, I decided to ask which movie she would like to see and the answer was interestingly Deepwater Horizon. It turns out that, a) she had written some sort of paper on the event recently in high school; and b) there is an actor named Dylan O’Brien in the movie whom she likes. I agreed this was an acceptable alternative.
My memory of this event in 2010 was that an oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico killing a handful of people and causing a leak several miles underwater of oil, which spewed out into the gulf for over two months. Since I live in Mobile, Alabama it was considered local news, with oil washing up on the beaches of the northern Gulf of Mexico. Apparently there was too much pressure to cap it, and I do not even remember how it eventually stopped. The movie doesn’t go into that at all, it is about the people on board, the explosion, how that happened and how those who were able to save themselves did.
Just to let everyone know, it is pretty intense. Mark Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, and I don’t know what he actually did on the Deepwater Horizon but apparently it was important. His boss is Kurt Russell, who goes by the name “Mister Jimmy”. Wahlberg’s wife is Kate Hudson (Felicia), who is Kurt Russell’s stepdaughter in real life, but in the movie she is only the wife of one of his men. At the end (spoiler alert) she does give Mister Jimmy a hug, which is fun since you know their real statuses. Dylan O’Brien has a pretty small part, but since he is a “name” for teen-age girls I got the impression that he was one of the young workers who had an occasional line of dialogue. I asked Sofie afterward and she stated that I was correct. At a point before the explosion he states, “I’m going to take a leak”. This never happens because all hell breaks loose shortly after his statement. At the end of the movie I was wondering about his bladder since I think he lived.
I’m being funny about it all but it’s a good movie and I enjoyed it. I don’t usually go for this type of heavy action, explosions, everyone running for safety kind of movie because it wears me out (and it did), and especially so knowing that this did really happen and it was quite horrific. What made it even more horrific for me was thinking back on when it happened and how 98% of the coverage and thus the concern by all of us watching the news was the oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. While that was awful and outrageous and sad, it kept us away from the human tragedy of eleven people losing their lives because the BP administrators were too cheap to have a $125,000.00 “cement test” done near the beginning of the film. I don’t really know what this test is, but had it been administered as Mister Jimmy wanted it to be, then none of the rest would have happened and we would all be blissfully unaware of the existence of the Deepwater Horizon which would probably still be out in the gulf. If the events were anything as shown in the movie it is a miracle that only eleven people lost their lives.
I almost forgot to mention that one of those BP executive guys, the main one who makes the call to move forward when things appear to not be working as they should, is John Malkovich! He has a silly Cajun accent, and seems to be wearing front teeth prostheses of some kind, but there he is as usual the bad guy. That was fun, just like the Kurt Russell/Kate Hudson hug.
So Deepwater Horizon is a well-made and serviceable real life action film which does its double duty of entertaining the audience while humanizing the people aboard the vessel, teaching those of us watching who knew little about the event except that it was the largest oil spill in United States history.
Now if only Dylan O’Brien had had more of a role in the plot, and not been covered with mud and oil the entire movie!
[My favorite cheesy Hollywood line: Mark Wahlberg is getting ready to do something heroic and shouts out, “My wife is Felicia and my daughter is Sydney and I WILL see them again!”]
—Stu Moore was pretty sure he met Lee Harvey Oswald during the famous visit to Spring Hill College, until he realized he had not yet been born.