Movie Date: Deepwater Horizon (PG13)
A spectacular date movie that goes deep in delivering entertainment value and an environmental message
STARRING: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez, John Malkovich, Dylan O'Brien, Kate Hudson
DIRECTOR: Peter Berg
THE SKINNY: Based on the 2010 real-life disaster of the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, which exploded under the operation of oil and gas company BP, it follows chief electronics technician Mike Williams (Wahlberg) and how he and his co-workers (Russell and Rodriguez) live through the worst oil spill in US history.
If you're going to make a movie with a message, this is the way to do it.
No holds barred.
The BP oil spill was one of the worst environmental disasters in human history, so it's only fitting that Deepwater Horizon would be one of the greatest disaster flicks in Hollywood history.
There are a couple of things that make the film so effective.
Director Ridley Scott has a saying pertaining to movie violence that when the shark bites, it must bite hard.
When our titular rig explodes into chaos, it bites very hard indeed.
You can feel the power and overwhelming pressure of the gushing oil.
You can feel the heat of the fire.
You can feel the weight of the sagging, groaning metal.
It's as terrifying a presentation of hell as I've ever seen.
The other thing that makes Deepwater Horizon truly exceptional is more of a thematic thing, that when things go wrong, they go wrong fast.
One minute you're living your life, the very next moment you can be fighting for it.
The next minute after that you might be dead.
Of course, you're free to watch Deepwater Horizon as if it's just another action flick, but that would be ignoring the elephant in the room thatwe're killing, along with entire ecosystems, and ultimately the Earth itself. - JASON JOHNSON
I expected to snooze through a movie about an oil spill, but got an adrenaline rush from the action and human drama instead.
To me, an oil rig is one of the most boring places on Earth, so kudos to director Berg for making me care about it.
First I had to endure 30 minutes of technical jargon, and decipher the working-man banter between rugged dudes in greasy red jumpsuits.
"You been touching my tools?" Mark Wahlberg barks to a colleague.
I had to imagine the cubicle-dweller's equivalent, having a co-worker "borrow" my pen, to get the severity of the situation.
Later, my eyes glazed over as Wahlberg and Russell yammer on about a cement log test.
But initial boredom gradually gave way to intrigue, then pure horror as the rig overflows with oil and lives are lost.
I love that the story is told so simply and effectively. It doesn't beat you on the head with hippy-dippy environmental disaster cliches.
Instead, it focuses on the human beings whose lives are changed forever because of the tragedy.
A big shout-out to Gina Rodriguez. She proves as tough and heroic as the big, burly lads.
Watch Deepwater Horizon so you can hug your partner at the end and say, "Thank God we're alive". - LISA TWANG
THE CONSENSUS: A spectacular date movie that goes deep in delivering entertainment value and an environmental message