In 2010, disaster struck BPs Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. It ‘blew out’, causing the death of eleven workers and spilling an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil. This film is the dramatisation of these events, with Mark Wahlberg as worker Mike Williams, Gina Rodriguez as worker Andrea Fleytas, Kurt Russell as rig boss Jimmy Harrell, and John Malkovich as BP executive Vidrine. It’s an amazing film, one that totally passed me by in the cinema. It has all of the explosions and excitement of a good action film, but with a tragic and plausible plot.
It starts like a fairly dull, normal day for the workers returning to the rig, dealing with the handover and the pressure being put on them by the executives who just want the pumping to start. Then, when things go bad, it’s all about survival. It’s tricky from here, because audiences are used to heroes in action films, and Wahlberg is such an action hero type actor. Consequently, I don’t know how much is accurate to the actual events and how much is modified for good audience viewing. I think as long as the audience are aware of the potential artistic licence, it’s a film worth watching.
Deepwater Horizon was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Sound Editing and Best Achievement in Visual Effects and for a BAFTA for Best Sound.