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Film Review: 'Deepwater Horizon' Goes to Deep End of Greed

by Todd A. Smith

 

Mark Wahlberg stars as Mike Williams in “Deepwater Horizon” (Photo Credit: David Lee).

 

 

For the Love of Money 

 


Forgive people who go to see “Deepwater Horizon” and cannot get the song “For the Love of Money” by The O’Jays out of their mind.


It’s not because “Deepwater Horizon” features the legendary vocals from the R&B group in the movie; quite the contrary, because cast members destroy that classic with their horrible vocals.


Moviegoers will not be able to get it out of their heads because the lyrics sum up the actions of BP, which lead to the worst man-made disaster in American history, the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.


The film “Deepwater Horizon” is gripping and will tug on a person’s heart because filmmakers humanize the story by focusing on victims and telling the story of the heroes who survived.


Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) is the typical alpha male, but with a huge heart.


He has to spend weeks at a time away from his wife and daughter because he works offshore.


The job offers good pay and he seems to love his job and his co-workers.


He is an expert in his field, so when BP sends safety workers home early before they have examined their work, red flags immediately go up in his mind.


The work on the Deepwater Horizon is over a month overdue and is severely over budget.


BP’s solution to a possible bad investment is to cut corners and ignore possible danger with the cement job, which is supposed to protect the drilling from explosion.


Mr. Jimmy (Kurt Russell) is convinced that BP is making a mistake, but the decision to drill is not his to make, but BP’s.


Vidrine (John Malkovich), who works for BP, overrules any objection made by Mr. Jimmy or Jason Anderson (Ethan Suplee, “Remember the Titans” and “Blow”), and decides to drill.


Unfortunately, Americans know what happens next.


However, the key to great filmmaking is making something great even though the audience knows its coming.


The explosion and its aftermath are breathtaking visually.


Furthermore, the anguish that is felt by employees trying to escape the Deepwater Horizon, while simultaneously trying to save the lives of others can be felt through the screen.


Wahlberg is stupendous as Williams.


The Oscar nominated actor had the real Williams as a consultant to make sure things were done realistically.


“Deepwater Horizon” succeeds in being realistic from the oil business jargon to the believable Louisiana slang of Malkovich.


From the beginning of the film BP is the villain and Williams is the hero, and he deserves such acclaim.


The lengths he went through to save his colleagues even though his life was in peril are simply remarkable.


Williams is definitely a hero in the same vein as Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger of the Miracle on the Hudson.


He saved many from a certain horrible death and lived to tell about it as well.


The movie concludes with a montage of photos of the 11 people who died that fateful night.


So while mainstream media focused much energy on the impact on the environment and the impact on the fishing industry, “Deepwater Horizon” deserves acclaim for focusing on the people who suffered and their families.

 

What makes the tragedy even more horrific is that it all could have easily been prevented if it was not for greed and that almighty dollar that the O’Jays sang about decades ago.


REGAL RATINGS

FOUR CROWNS=EXCELLENT

THREE CROWNS=GOOD

TWO CROWNS=AVERAGE

ONE CROWN=POOR

 

This article was published on Friday 30 September, 2016.
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