Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious Taliban leader Ahmad Shah, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.
A marksman living in exile is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the President. Ultimately double-crossed and framed for the attempt, he goes on the run to find the real killer and the reason he was set up.
In April 2010, there is no oil exploration operation in the Gulf of Mexico to compare with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig with its size or sheer depth of its drilling. However, 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. On April 20, the workers' fears are realized in the worst possible way when the rig's various structural and system flaws spark a catastrophic cascade of failures that would create a massive blowout and explosion that threatens them all, even as it also begins the worst environmental disaster in US history.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
Mark Wahlberg has worked with director Peter Berg in Lone Survivor (2013), Deepwater Horizon (2016), Patriots Day (2016) and Mile 22 (2018). See more »
While a door hitting a man hard enough to knock him across a room might break bones and give him a concussion, this actually happened to Mike Williams not once, but twice, even though the movie only showed him getting struck by the door once. In his statement he described how he actually got angry at these "three inch thick, steel, fire-rated doors with six stainless steel hinges supporting 'em on the frame" because instead of protecting him, they were hurting him. See more »
"Full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing" could be a summary of this modern-age disaster movie. In 2010 the "Deepwater Horizon" drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana failed in spectacular fashion, bursting into flames and spewing millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico in what was the worst oil-spill in American history. Mark Wahlberg plays the well-respected electrical 'Mr fixit' Mike Williams on the rig, reporting to the Operations Manager Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell).
The exploratory project is way-behind and BP are not happy. Big-wigs from the company add support to Donald Vidrine, the BP site leader, in applying mounting pressure on Harrell to press on regardless without all the necessary and time-consuming tests by Schlumberger being completed. Rogue numbers in further tests are waved away as 'glitches'. A familiar story of corporate greed and pressure overriding the expert's better judgment.
When disaster strikes it strikes quickly, with some spectacular and exciting special effects that leave the audience especially hot under the collar. Female support is provided by the comely Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez), given the almost impossible job of keeping the floating bomb on station as chaos reigns about her. As an audience we are back on familiar ground here from classic Irwin Allen disaster movies such as "The Towering Inferno" and "The Poseidon Adventure". Who will make it, and who won't?
A more telling question here is "Do we care?" and unfortunately for the film, the answer is "Not really". This feels a callous thing to say when this was a real and recent event and eleven people and – as touchingly illustrated at the end of the film in tribute – many of them family men with young kids, never went home again. But film-wise, we only really get bought into the fate of Williams, whose back-story, with cute wife (Kate Hudson) and cute daughter (Stella Allen) we get to meet and sympathize with.
We get a minimalist view of Fleytas's backstory, but only enough to provide a recurring "Mustang" reference. And that's it. All the other characters are just two-dimensional "rig crew": cannon-fodder for the special effects team. The screenplay by Matthew Sand and Matthew Carnahan really doesn't deliver enough heft to get us bought in.
While the special effects are good, the sound design isn't, with much of the dialogue being incomprehensible.
All the acting is fine, with the ever-watchable John Malkovich nicely portraying the corporate head you love to hate. Wahlberg as well delivers enough range to make you forget in this "action mode" that he was also in "Ted". And Rodriguez as a junior lead holds her own against the big guns in what is a creditable performance in a big film role for her.
While "Lone Survivor"/"Battleship" director Peter Berg neatly provides an insight into life on and around rigs, and (via subtitles) descriptions of the drilling process which I found interesting, this comes down to the sum of a tense build up, an hour of frenetic disaster, and then a whimper of an ending. Where were some of the dramatic scenes of conflict in the congressional hearing that the film's opening implies might come? Where are the scenes of ecological disaster and local financial ruin to add emotional angles to the story? None of this is really exploited and the whole concoction comes across a bit "meh" as a result. Not a bad film by any means. But not one I will remember in a month or two's time.
(Agree? Disagree? For the graphical version of this review and to comment please visit bob-the-movie-man.com. Thanks.)
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