First Hit: Although this could have been an interesting film, the disappointing and needless jerky camera work took away from actually seeing what was happening.
I found myself engaged in this film was when the ideological conflict arose between BP (British Petroleum) and Transocean, (owners of the drilling platform). However, I wasn’t engaged as much when the well blew up and everybody was running around trying to save themselves and others. What made these scenes worse was the shaky camera work and lousy editing. It simply was difficult to be engaged with anything when nothing gets into focus. The conflict between the Transocean and BP was, at times, riveting as each side wanted something. BP led by Vidrine (John Malkovich) wanted to hurry the project along because they were 43 days behind schedule. Transocean led by Mr. Jimmy (Kurt Russell) wanted to execute all the appropriate and timely tests to ensure that drilling hole was secure. The lead role in this film was the view from Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg) who worked for Mr. Jimmy and was responsible for all the operating systems on Deepwater Horizon. However, as much as we wanted to care about Williams, his wife Felicia (Kate Hudson) and his daughter Sydney (Stella Allen), the real story in this film was about the differences of opinion between BP and Transocean.
Wahlberg was good in this role, however where he was supposed to shine was in the saving of crewmembers from the exploding rig. However, the lousy camera work and poor editing made his segments of the film far less interesting. My favorite part of his role is when he detailed a listing of issues that needed to be fixed on Deepwater Horizon while talking to Vidrine. Malkovich was OK in his role of pushing BP’s agenda. His accent was odd to me, however his intensity was excellent. Russell was wonderful as the know-it-all General Manager of Deepwater. I loved his tenacity and presence to stick to what was important. Hudson was good as Williams’ wife. Gina Rodriguez (as Andrea Fleytas) was engaging and I would have like more from her part. Matthew Michael Carnahan and Matthew Sand wrote a strong script. What failed this film was the direction by Peter Berg who focused on the blowing up of Deepwater Horizon and doing it in a way that didn’t allow the audience to see what was happening. Shame, this could have been good but this shows you how lousy direction and focusing on blowing up stuff doesn’t always make a good picture.
Overall: Really disappointed how the director got swayed by the possibility of blowing up something and not focusing on the story and reason for the explosion.