DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

DEEPWATER HORIZON (director: Peter Berg; screenwriters: Matthew Michael Carnahan/ Matthew Sand/Matthew Sand/screen story Michael Sand/ based on an article by David Barstow, David Rohde, Stephanie Saul published in the New York Times; cinematographer: Enrique Chediak; editors: Gabriel Fleming, Colby Parker Jr.; music: Steve Jablonsky; cast:  Mark Wahlberg (Mike Williams), Kurt Russell (Jimmy Harrell), Douglas M. Griffin (Landry), James DuMont (O'Bryan), Joe Chrest (Sims), Gina Rodriguez (Andrea Fleytas), Brad Leland (Kaluza), John Malkovich (Vidrine), Dave Maldonado (Kuchta ), JD Evermore (Dewey A. Revette ), Ethan Suplee (Jason Anderson), Jason Pine (Stephen Ray Curtis), Jason Kirkpatrick (Aaron Dale Burkeen), Kate Hudson (Felicia), Stella Allen (Sydney), Dylan O'Brien (Caleb Holloway); Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Mark Vahradian, Stephen Levinson, David Womark; Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment; 2016)

"Superior no-nonsense disaster film on the true story of the worst ecological incident in American history."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Peter Berg  ("Lone Survivor"/"Battleship") directs this superior no-nonsense disaster film on the true story of the worst ecological incident in American history. On April 20, 2010, BP’s oil platform off the Louisiana coast exploded into the Gulf of Mexico, creating the worst oil spill in US history. It also resulted in 11 workers losing their lives. The story chronicles the courage of those who worked on the oil rig called the Deepwater Horizon, that was leased by BP from the Transocean company, and gives us the details of what led to the catastrophe. In particular, it points out for praise the oil rig supervisor called Mister Jimmy (Kurt Russell) and the chief electronics technician Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg). Ironically, on the day of the disaster, Mister Jimmy was honored for his safety record. Their adversary is the greedy overbearing arrogant BP executive Don Vidrine (John Malkovich), the slimeball know-nothing BP bureaucratic rep who coerced the drilling by insisting on inadequate tests to be enough for the drilling to begin. He lets us see that the oil company ignored safety in order to save expense money on delays and repairs. Vidrine for his part in the tragedy was later sentenced to 10 months’ probation.

Berg's first-rate film is intelligent, compassionate, realistic and technically sound. This film should set the gold standard for big budget disaster films. The budgeted
$156 million action film gets its money worth on how well it looked on screen during the meltdown.

It's
based on an article by David Barstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul published in the New York Times. The writers Matthew Michael Carnahan and Matthew Sand wisely keep it serious, while also avoiding the usual soap opera subplots which bring down most disaster films.

REVIEWED ON 9/30/2016       GRADE: B+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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