MOVIE REVIEW: Deepwater Horizon strikes a good balance
DEEPWATER Horizon was an ultra-deepwater, semi-submersible movable offshore drilling rig owned by Transocean.
Built in 2001, the rig was commissioned by R&B Falcon (a later asset of Transocean),and leased to BP from 2001 until September 2013.
In September 2009, the rig drilled the deepest oil well in history at a vertical depth of 10,683m, 400km southeast of Houston.
On 20 April 2010, while drilling at the Macondo Prospect, an uncontrollable blow out caused an explosion on the rig that killed 11 crewmen and ignited a fireball visible from 64 km away.
The fire was unextinguishable and, two days later, on April 22, the Horizon sank, leaving the well gushing at the seabed and causing the largest oil spill in US waters.
In the film, the project for the BP oil company is beset with technical difficulties to the point where the general operational supervisor, Jimmy Harrell, and his chief electrical engineer, Mike Williams, are concerned potentially dangerous trouble is brewing.
Unfortunately, visiting BP executives, frustrated by the project's long delays, order curtailed site inspections and slanted system tests to make up for lost time even as Harrell, Williams and his team helplessly protest for the sake of proper safety.
The workers' fears are realised in the worst possible way when the rig explodes.
This film has two major brilliant features working for it: the action scenes are focused on the heroism of the crew on board of the rig, and the fact that we get to see the faces and the names of the main characters in this story and of the people that lost their lives in the tragedy.
It is not often than an action film is a fitting tribute to victims of a catastrophic incident, but this film reaches such balance.
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez.
Director: Peter Berg