There have been a lot of films based on true stories lately, and the latest biopic to hit the big screen was explosive.
The Mark Wahlberg-led drama “Deepwater Horizon” cranks up the emotional stakes and visual effects to bring a winning biopic to life. However, the slowness and lack of substance in the first half of the film brings the overall value down.
Based on the events of the BP oil rig explosion on April 20, 2010, “Deepwater Horizon” points the blame at BP for the lack of safety checks and broken parts on the rig. The dialogue of the film suggests that the BP corporate workers who supervised the oil rig knew that a lot of technology and parts of the ship were broken or not in working condition. The film also states that BP knowingly sent crew members home without conducting necessary safety checks to save some money. Everyone knew that the “Deepwater Horizon” was a ticking time bomb, yet no one, in the film at least, objected to the overall project.
Other than placing blame, the film did not discuss the damage that BP caused, other than the harm of the crew members. There was no mention of the negative effects on the ecosystem or the company.
The film also did not show the process of putting out the fire and capping the pipeline over the course of several months and the law suits that followed. It was surprising that a film on the biggest oil disaster in history did not go into any critical issues that the explosion caused. Instead, the film focuses on Wahlberg’s character, Mike Williams, and his journey of saving his crewmates and getting to safety.
“Deepwater Horizon” does not get good until the half-way point, when the action finally picks up. The first half of the film is a drawn-out sequence of backstory on both the characters and the oil rig, which was dull and boring. Once the rig starts experiencing some concerning test results and pressure starts to build in the pipes, the real story begins. The struggle for survival is emotionally heightened by incredible visual effects. The explosions and fires were an impressive backdrop for the drama the characters faced.
The combination of the effects and story made for an intense film. The story of how select crew members made it to safety was very intriguing. But, there were some little details that were easy mistakes that should have been fixed. For example, at the beginning of the film, an alarm clock shows that it is 5:11 a.m. in Texas, yet it is a beautiful, sunny day outside. Another mistake was that some characters were not properly bandaged after presumably receiving medical attention at a hospital. Small errors in judgement took away a bit of the film’s credibility.
If you enjoy a good real-life drama, then “Deepwater Horizon” is for you. It is pretty much what you would expect it to be, except the explosion scenes are more intense than the trailers let on. It’s not the best biopic currently playing in theaters, but “Deepwater Horizon” is decent nonetheless.