Review: ‘Deepwater Horizon’ a tragedy turned into a game-changing Hollywood blockbuster


April 20, 2010. ‘Deepwater Horizon‘, the Gulf of Mexico. Another day, another dollar for the monsters at BP – have I set the scene for you now? Based on true events and one of the largest man-made disasters in history, ‘Deepwater Horizon’ retells this terrible day from the inside. This disaster was responsible for 11 deaths and created the biggest oil spill in history – I expected this film to be an overview of what happened, but instead I witnessed a true insight into the heroism of the men and women who worked onboard. ‘Deepwater Horizon’ didn’t hold back, Hollywood needs more people willing to take storytelling risks as big as this.

Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg have previously worked together on ‘Lone Survivor’ a psychological thriller, and it’s nothing like their recent collaboration on ‘Deepwater Horizon’. This film focuses on real life, real people and real stories. The entire film is spent on the oil rig, apart from a brief opening sequence in which we meet Mike Williams (Wahlberg) and his family before he leaves for 21 days at ‘Deepwater Horizon’. Williams becomes a familiar face for the audience and he answered all of my questions throughout the film. Wahlberg gives a convincing and passionate performance as the protagonist of this disaster film, which is no surprise as he was one of the producers and instigators of bringing this story back to life.

Berg has executed a well thought out character development, that builds up slowly and leads us an hour in before anything happens. Doing this left me feeling more tension and uncertainty for the characters. Berg has managed to capture the audience off guard, which is a hard thing to do considering everyone knows the background story this film is based on. Once the momentum picks up it doesn’t stop, and Berg has created a mirroring tribute to the events of April 20, 2010.

Something else that stood out for me was the performance of rising star Gina Rodriguez, and her portrayal of Andrea Fleytas. Rodriguez has been on my radar since the start of ‘Jane The Virgin’ and she has proved her capabilities as an actress with this role.

‘Deepwater Horizon’ is a straight to the point look into what happened in 2010 on the Gulf of Mexico. It doesn’t cut corners and pays a warming, honest tribute to the men and women on board who exemplified behaviour of real heroism. A tragedy turned into a game-changing Hollywood blockbuster.


‘Deepwater Horizon’ arrives in UK cinemas on September 29 and U.S. cinemas on September 30.

Featured image courtesy of Grapevine Digital. 

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