Deepwater Horizon by Peter Berg on Blu-ray
My rating: 6 out of 10 stars
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.
As expected this is a bit of a propaganda movie against BP but that was of course rather expected. It is still watchable. The dramatization is fairly well done and the effects are believable as well as enjoyable. If you watch it as a disaster drama and special effects movie it is definitely okay.
As a documentary, well I would say that it falls short. The movie only covers the initial explosion. Once the platform is evacuated the movie stops. I am somewhat disappointed at that. I would at least have liked to see the attempts to put out the fire. Where are the scenes with the boats trying to douse the rig with water for instance?
I would also have liked the film to cover the attempts to close the well, the technical challenges involved and the fight against the oil spill. This is not at all covered.
I feel that the film attempts to ride on public opinion, pretend to be a action/disaster movie as well as a fact telling one and cash in on the accident. The action/disaster parts were well done but the movie left out a lot of the, perhaps less spectacular, drama around the accident. It is a shame because now it became a rather ordinary movie as well as giving a distasteful feeling they were just trying to make some quick bucks on the disaster.
That also made the factual parts somewhat in doubt. I feel the movie is making a strong effort to portray BP as willful criminals. I am sure there is plenty of blame that should fly BP’s way but at the same time one can read that “On November 8, 2010, the inquiry by the Oil Spill Commission revealed its findings that BP had not sacrificed safety in attempts to make money, but that some decisions had increased risks on the rig.”. As always, things are not black and white and oil drilling is risky business after all.
Anyway, enough ramblings, I found the movie okay, nothing more and nothing less.