Monday, October 17, 2016

Movie Review: DEEPWATER HORIZON (Review #2)

Deepwater Horizon tells the true story of the crew of what was the offshore drilling rig called 'Deepwater Horizon' that in the April of 2010 exploded and created one of the worst oil spills in history. A good portion of the crew managed to save itself. this film tells their story.

Peter Berg is back with another collaboration with Mark Wahlberg on a true story film and it won't be the last we get this year since Patriot's Day is coming out later this December. I was a big fan of Berg's last effort in Lone Survivor and whilst this film does not live up to many standards set by its
predecessor, it still makes me excited to see Berg's next effort.

What is very clear from the film is how Berg manages to be delicate and touching at the same time, maintaining the uttermost respect for everyone involved. The result isn't heavy handed, it isn't pointing fingers or trying to exploit the events. It is clearly a story of these people and that's where the focus lies (literally as the camera is always shifting focus between people). This makes for a very thrilling experience since you really feel like you've entered these people's space and that you want to get the f**k away from the platform as much as them.

What he filmmakers are also incredible at doing is not loosing you in the mechanics of how the drill works and how what happened, happened. They make a real effort to make it clear for you and whilst there are aspects of this that faulted the film, I can confidently say I understood what was going on, the stakes were always clear and ultimately the escalation of the tragic events feels completely authentic and most importantly it fuels the story forward.

Technically the film is very remarkable too, you never felt like you were watching a CGI explosion, now that I think of it, the whole setting on the platform was absolutely seamless, it felt realistic and the geography of the place was very clear to me thanks to great setups and attention to little details that really help the viewer in understanding the whole dynamic of the place.

The whole cast is another great element the film has to offer. It is quite a large one, but just as the rest of the film is clear so every one of these roles manages to be easily understandable. Yet, it doesn't stop there and all of these people get to feel like fully rounded individuals and that is what probably makes the last ten minutes of this film so touching. After having spent all of this time with these people, at the end we get such a gut-wrench, also thanks to incredible performances, especially and surprisingly by Kate Hudson who really shines despite her small part.

Where I had more problems with the film was in its first half. I think the filmmakers just spent way too much time in trying to setup the incident and I understand it is delivered clearly, but there were times where it just felt like overkill. There are also a couple of setups that are way too on the nose and didn't really have any place in this film. What also was incredibly bothering was how tightly this film is edited. It is fast paced to a degree that kind of makes your brain weary. Forty minutes into the film I was just struggling for some breathing space and some time to let things sink in. That is why some of the bigger character moments in the third act don't hit as hard as they should. I mean the of dialogue and information you are asked to digest is really heavy and whilst I will admit it's all well written and thought out dialogue, it was just too much and there simply wasn't a reason to have this kind of exaggerated fast pace to the film.

Nevertheless, Berg remains a good director with an eye for these kind of stories and making the human element take the forefront, making the audience attached to these people and having them go through intense cinematic experiences.

James's Score: 7/10

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