Movie Review – Deepwater Horizon (2016)

A real life oil rig catastrophe is turned into a movie.

SPOILER ALERT? Well, didn’t you have the TV on at all in 2010?

BQB here with a review of Deepwater Horizon.

This movie tells the story of the oil rig explosion that led to oil being spilled into the Gulf of Mexico for eighty-seven days in 2010.

Remember that news story, folks? Every day you’d turn on the TV and they’d have the video of all that oil spouting off into the water?

Yikes. Those days surely sucked.

Interestingly, this movie is all action, yet it also seeks to educate.


There’s a lot of science and engineering behind oil rig drilling. Thus, the film’s challenge from the beginning is to take a subject that experts take years to learn about and pass off the basics to the viewer, or at least the info they need to know so the movie isn’t entirely baffling.

At times, I felt like I learned something. At other times, the characters get into the complexities and my eyes glaze over and I’m just like, “Yup. This thing’s gonna blow up. Got it.”

As the film tells it, oil rig boss Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell) squares off against BP executive Vidrine (John Malkovich).  The overall implication that comes out of the movie is that BP was cutting corners, ignored Harrell’s advice and blah, blah blah I’ll let you watch it yourself but suffice to say, the whole thing went kaboom.

Here’s the big thing I noticed. This was an action film…but it was a realistic action film.

You know those action films where there’s an explosion and two seconds later the hero is fine?

Yeah. This isn’t one of those.

As the rig comes down, we see bones break, people get burned, thrown around, crushed and badly injured.  People end up running around in pain (and the pain shows) with pieces of glass and debris stuck in them.

In the midst of it all, people are people. Some do great, heroic things. Others get scared and panic.

As a viewer you’re like, “Wait!  Isn’t Arnold Schwarzenegger going to swoop in any minute now and save everyone and never get a scratch on him and then he’ll say a clever one liner?”

Nope. Heck, Mark Wahlberg as technician Mike Williams doesn’t even give us an SNL inspired, “Say hello to your mother for me.”

Gina Rodriguez stars as rig worker Andrea Fleytas and Kate Hudson stars as Mike’s wife.

Mmmm.  Kate Hudson. I’d jump off a burning oil rig to swim to her, by God.

What? Too soon to make jokes? Come on. It’s been six years.

This movie left me with a greater appreciation for people who have rough, dangerous jobs. If you know an oil rig worker, give him/her a hug…well….ask first. Remember, no means no.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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