…but the story will have you recognizing some of the small victories in this story.
Based on the real-life events at BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, this film is a retelling of how the fire and explosions happened, how people managed to survive, and the fallout from the experience. Mark Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, one of the 120 crew members on board the ill-fated site. The real-life Mike Williams actually became the face of the disaster, with his interview on 60 Minutes, and his testimony at hearings investigating the incident. John Malkovich plays Donald Vidrine, a BP site leader who went on to be charged with manslaughter in relation to the disaster. Those charges were actually dropped, and at last check, he is facing a misdemeanor count of violating the Clean Water Act.
While most of us know what happened at the BP explosion, what this film does a really good job of here is depicting the humanity of the story. It is a fictionalization of the story, sure, but it’s nice to see two disaster-type films (as we saw with Sully) tell some really strong stories. I don’t see Wahlberg getting a nomination for his acting here, but the film has a lot of heart, grace and emotion attached to it. There is also a solid tribute involved, which allows the viewer to honour the lives lost. Other actors, like Kurt Russell, Kate Hudson and Gina Rodriguez, do their very vulnerable characters justice.
Where I have to fault the movie is in some of the lapsed writing. We have moments of well-executed pacing and writing, but we also get some parts where it’s tough to figure out where the writers were going with the story. Nothing to really ride home about, but it detracts from the story a touch.
It gets a solid four out of five for me!