You can add Mark Wahlberg versus Oil Spill to the previous list of memorable 2016 slugfests. He’s gone up against Decepticons, prize fighters, countless criminals, and a justifiably protective father of teenage Reese Witherspoon, but how will he fare against the most destructive oil spill in US history? Let’s find out. If you responded with serious side eye to Lionsgate turning the 2010 BP oil spill into a disaster movie, I wouldn’t blame you.
But after seeing Deepwater Horizon, I can attest that this is actually a very considerate and gripping retelling of the events that happened in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20th, 2010. Upon closer look this shouldn’t be a surprise given that it’s directed by Peter Berg, one of the most underrated screen auteurs working today (Lone Survivor, The Kingdom, HBO’s The Leftovers, and Friday Night Lights both movie and TV show). What makes Deepwater Horizon more than just a disaster movie is that the hour or so leading up to the catastrophe is truly compelling storytelling, intermixed with grade-A Louisiana good ole boy banter, and not just filler waiting for the hook. In fact, I even enjoyed the lead up a little more than what follows in the onset of Mark Wahlberg, family man morphing into Mark Wahlberg, action hero (that part’s still good too though, duh). The main event of the film in my opinion isn’t even the spill, but site crew chief Kurt Russell going toe to toe with a contentious BP executive played by John Malkovich. Malkovich in particular, with such a good southern drawl that I seriously thought it was just someone that looked like him playing the part, turns in probably my favorite villainous performance of the year. BP certainly cannot be thrilled with their portrayal in this film, for obvious reasons. Tier 4