Deepwater Horizon

True Lies

Remember the millennium? Loads of weird shit happened. One thing that happened was that BP changed their logo to be a green and yellow geometric symbol. I realise that’s not weird in itself but it was meant to represent green energy, plant life and the sun; mother natures all powerful life-giver.

Remember 2010? That massive oil spill in the gulf of Mexico? One of the biggest man made ecological disasters and one that destroyed acres of marine life was dismissed as an accident at first. Only after an official inquiry did it become fully apparent that it was actually crude negligence and the ever expanding chase for profits by highly flammable cockwombles at BP that caused this all powerful life-taker.

Suddenly their logo seems weird right?!

Deepwater Horizon is the origin story of this disaster focusing on the moments leading up to when it all went sideways.. and upside down… and generally very, very explodey!!

I actually met someone who worked on an oil rig and he showed me a picture of the view from his office window which was “some sort of outlet” but really it looked like the flamethrower scene from True Lies.

Deepwater horizon makes that picture look like a tealight because these flames go big. Really big. So big that it makes me thankful that the biggest hazard in my job is bad posture and RSI. It’s really quite spectacular and makes you realise that being in the middle of such of an event would be unfathomably scary. A nightmare of epic proportions.

I guess it’s lucky then that the people on the rig had Hercules on board to save everyone. Sorry, that was meant to be Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) not Hercules. It is a bit weird that the film is so Mike-centric because it seems highly unlikely that this one electrical engineer could preempt disaster, search for missing people switch on backup generators and be the last person to leave the rig… by jumping from the helipad.

It all seems highly dramatised and like it wasn’t corroborated by anyone else: “yeah, then I  totally tore a door off the wall with my bare hands and err… I surfed down the lava fields to safety! Oh and I totally shot all the bad guys on the way”.

I dunno. I wasn’t there. Maybe the film is actually highly accurate. Maybe it wasn’t. In the end it didn’t really matter because Marky Mark is as entertaining to watch as ever but adds to overall Hollywood gloss.

On the flip side is Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell) and Vidrine (John Malkovich. Russell nails his role as the loveable but grizzled safety officer and Malkovich competently plays the voice of the corporation and help keep the film at least partly grounded.

I guess there is always a trade off though in this sort of film. Either you aim for entertainment by impressive visuals and maybe bend the truth here or there or you expose the lies of the real life even in a scathing critique of big oil and capitalism. Deepwater opts for the former and does a competent job of it but part of me still wishes they stuck more of a finger up at BP.

The Good, The Bad and The Outcome:

+ Explodey bits
+ Kurt Russell
+ Overall very entertaining

– Wahlberg’s character
– Seems overly dramatised
– Could have stuck up another finger to BP



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