He­roes on the hori­zon

DAVID ED­WARDS finds the blend of hu­man­ity and ul­tra-re­al­ism in Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon a fit­ting trib­ute to those who lost their lives the the dis­as­ter

Harefield Gazette - - LEISURE -

WHILE there’s been no short­age of re­cent dis­as­ter movies, this fire-at-sea thriller trumps them all with its blend of hu­man­ity and ul­tra-re­al­ism.

This is no 2012, San An­dreas or World War Z but a raw, vis­ceral and im­me­di­ate ex­pe­ri­ence grounded in fact far more pow­er­ful than fic­tion.

Af­ter 2013’s Lone Sur­vivor, di­rec­tor Peter Berg and lead­ing man Mark Wahlberg have de­liv­ered what prom­ises to be the most thrilling movie of the au­tumn.

And if its stance on he­roes vs money-grub­bing ex­ecs looks sim­plis­tic, a quick check of the facts re­veals the ac­count to be largely true.

Based on the 2010 Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon oil rig in­ferno that saw 11 peo­ple die and al­most five mil­lion bar­rels of oil spill into the Gulf of Mex­ico, the film be­gins with en­gi­neer Mike Wil­liams (Wahlberg) say­ing good­bye to his wife (Kate Hud­son) and daugh­ter be­fore a three-week stint on the plat­form.

Life on the seas is en­ter­ing choppy wa­ters with the cap­tain (Kurt Rus­sell) bang­ing heads with its BP own­ers (in­clud­ing a won­der­fully slimy John Malkovich) who are in­sist­ing on press­ing ahead with be­hind-sched­ule drilling, de­spite safety fears.

And when work be­gins, all hell breaks loose, leav­ing the sur­vivors to fight for their lives and res­cue others as the plat­form burns around them.

In the hands of, say, Michael Bay, you’d ex­pect an em­pha­sis on spec­ta­cle laced with corny di­a­logue but Berg has turned cur­rent dis­as­ter movie tropes on their head, never los­ing sight of the sur­vivors’ hero­ism.

With Mike Wil­liams acting as our eyes and ears, we even get a les­son in the world of gaskets, pumps and un­der­wa­ter pipes be­fore things go aw­fully wrong about an hour in.

You also have to ad­mire the brav­ery of the mak­ers for tak­ing on the oil gi­ant and lay­ing the blame so squarely at their door.

It’s a ter­rific spec­ta­cle but, more than that, a fit­ting trib­ute to those who lost their lives.

Di­rec­tor: Peter Berg

Star­ring: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Rus­sell, Dou­glas M Grif­fin, James Du­mont, Joe Chrest

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