Film Review: Great Visuals Save the Shallow ‘Deepwater Horizon’

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CHICAGO – There are a few things in our lives that, if we’re lucky, we will never have to experience. Things like childbirth, limb loss, or a near death experience. The closest most of can get is by watching a well-made film. If “Deepwater Horizon” succeeds at anything, it’s creating the engrossing experience of being there on that fateful day. Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

This film is less of an environmental warning and more of a avarice-based cautionary tale. In that respect, the film’s predictability is as clear-cut as the oil executive’s motivations. Writer Matthew Michael Carnahan has written films with an indubitable morality before, so he has it down to a formula. The only thing that changes are the circumstances and characters because “Deepwater Horizon” is based on true events (the BP oil spill in 2010). It is impossible to separate the Hollywood stylization from the facts. Is it just a coincidence that more than a few of the characters felt like they fell prey to familiar tropes, or were they placed in these roles to force some of the emotions in the film? It’s hard to say, but ultimately doesn’t matter as soon as the film hits its stride.

“Deepwater Horizon”’s foreshadowing is heavy-handedly introduced. It felt like a children’s show where the actors break the fourth wall and stare directly into the camera asking the audience if they know what’s going to happen next. The only good thing to come from this approach is that they take a few minutes out of the film for the daughter to get an explanation of what her dad’s job entails for a conveniently timed school project. The situation was simplified so much, that even a child could understand it. The morality of the film was a little harder to decipher.

“Deepwater Horizon” opened everywhere on September 30th. Featuring Mark Wahlberg, Gina Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Dylan O’Brien, and Kate Hudson. Screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan and Michael Sand. Directed by Peter Berg. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Deepwater Horizon”

Mark Wahlberg in ‘Deepwater Horizon’
Photo credit: Summit Entertainment

StarContinue reading for Jon Espino’s full review of “Deepwater Horizon”

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