Deepwater Horizon Blu-ray Review
“Deepwater Horizon” sinks under its own ambitions.
“Deepwater Horizon” tells the true story account of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion/Gulf of Mexico oil spill that tragically claimed the lives of 11 people. While the film is more or less an ensemble piece, the story primarily follows engineer Mike (Mark Wahlberg’s character), rig supervisor Mr. Jimmy (Kurt Russell), navigation worker (Andrea), and BP exec Donald (John Malkovich). The film chronicles the events that led up to the explosion/spill and the heroic efforts that went into rescuing and evacuating people to safety.
Director Peter Berg is becoming synonymous with patriotic true life stories about tragedies and heroism and “Deepwater Horizon” is no exception. While Berg clearly made this film as a tribute to those that lost their lives and those who risked their life to save others, it also feels a bit exploitive at the same time. There’s something a bit off putting about turning a tragedy into a big budget disaster film spectacle (especially one that barely touches upon the actual oil spill). It’s one thing to make a fictional disaster film, but it’s another to make one based on true events.
From a screenwriting perspective, Matthew Sand and Matthew Michael Carnahan’s screenplay also leaves much to be desired. The first 50 minutes is pretty much a snooze fest with its small talk disguised as characterization, technical babble, endless cement test mentions, and dialogue shouting. After the rig explosion, however, the film obviously becomes more intense and attention grabbing. Unfortunately, the harrowing situation and heroics are mostly lost amidst loud noises and explosions. Thankfully, as tends to be the case with a lot of true life based movies, “Deepwater Horizon” does conclude with real footage and information which are more interesting than the film itself.
One thing the film does get right, however, are the sets and production values. The rig sets are deeply impressive and they really give the viewer the feeling they are immersed in that horrible situation. Equally impressive here is the blend of CGI and practical FX such as the fire and explosions.
In terms of the cast, they don’t have a ton to do here. Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O’Brien and Kate Hudson are mostly just pretty faces here. John Malkovich is perhaps the strangest casting choice here as he not only overacts, but puts on an indescribable accent. Mark Wahlberg is one of those actors who can be great (“The Departed,” “3 Kings,” “Boogie Nights”) or awful (“The Happening” and “Transformers: Age of Extinction”), but thankfully he’s good here as essentially the heart of the film. The real star of the film is hands down Kurt Russell who is as reliable as always.
Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? In a word, pristine.
Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? The way it should be- dynamic and loud.
* DVD copy and Digital copy.
* Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment trailers.
* “The Fury Of The Rig”- A 27 minute featurette on the impressive set and production design.
* “Deepwater Surveillance”- Unedited clips of 12 sequences being shot. Fascinating to watch.
* 8 tributes to American workers of various professions and 2 I Am A Steel Beam commercials narrated by Peter Berg and Gina Rodriguez.
* “Beyond The Horizon”- Individual interviews with Mark Wahlberg, Kate Hudson, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez, and Dylan O’Brien. Film clips and behind-the-scenes footage are also included.
* “Captain Of The Rig: Peter Berg”- A featurette/interview with Peter Berg that also includes footage from the set of him at work as well interviews with other cast and crew members.
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