DEEPWATER HORI­ZON

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

Direc­tor: Peter Berg (Lone Sur­vivor) Star­ring: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Gina Ro­driguez, John Malkovich, Kate Hud­son Ver­dict: When in doubt, thou shalt not drill

THIS here’s what one might call a docu-dis­as­ter movie – where a real-life catas­tro­phe will be re-staged for both your ed­u­ca­tion and en­ter­tain­ment.

If you wish to be ed­u­cated, well, Deepwater Hori­zon will give you the ret­ro­spec­tive scoop on one of the big­gest pre­ventable man-made catas­tro­phes of all time.

If you wish to be en­ter­tained, well, Deepwater Hori­zon has plenty of Mark Wahlberg emot­ing man­fully as a mon­ster oil rig goes up in flames around him.

Luck­ily, the right bal­ance is struck be­tween last­ing in­for­ma­tion and dis­pos­able thrills.

The in­fa­mous in­ci­dent de­picted here took place on April 20, 2010, in calm wa­ters about 60km off the coast of Louisiana.

As evening de­scended, the go-ahead was given for a semisub­mersible oil rig run by fuel gi­ant Bri­tish Petroleum (BP) to start fullscale drilling of a promis­ing new site on the ocean floor.

In a mat­ter of hours, 11 of the 126 men em­ployed on the rig were dead. Scores more were se­ri­ously in­jured. More than five mil­lion bar­rels of oil gushed into the Gulf of Mex­ico.

The end re­sult was one of the great­est en­vi­ron­men­tal dis­as­ters in his­tory.

The rig com­busted and col­lapsed due to the usual safety pro­to­cols for new drilling sites be­ing roundly ig­nored.

The Louisiana project was al­ready way be­hind sched­ule, and BP wanted all that oily money flow­ing back into its cof­fers ASAP.

So BP’s reps rode its rig con­trac­tors hard, and a go but­ton was pushed in spite of the con­cerns of those who knew what the con­se­quences could be.

Due to the highly tech­ni­cal per­fect storm of sna­fus that had to hap­pen for the dis­as­ter to be trig­gered, Deepwater Hori­zon has to fill its screen­play with a heck of a lot of oil­man mumbo-jumbo.

A lot of it is gush­ing out from un­derneath the thick mous­tache and New Or­leans ac­cent of Kurt Russell as the good old safety of­fi­cer who can feel the bad times com­ing his way.

This is where a sec­ondary plot melo­dra­mat­i­cally ex­plor­ing ten­sions be­tween work­ing-class he­roes like the rig’s chief electrics man (Wahlberg) and vil­lains such as BP’s chief slick-talker (John Malkovich) be­come so im­por­tant in Deepwater Hori­zon.

In­stead of pan­ick­ing about work­ing out what is hap­pen­ing, view­ers are free to panic about whether or not their favourite char­ac­ters will sur­vive the gar­gan­tuan in­ferno.

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