Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Deepwater Horizon (2 Stars)

I love disaster movies. I love films based on true stories. "Deepwater Horizon" also stars some of my favourite actors, so there's no reason why I shouldn't like it, is there?

Unfortunately, that's not the case. It's a poorly written and poorly directed film. In a good disaster movie, like "Titanic" or "Dresden", there's a slow build up in which we get to know the main characters intimately. In "Deepwater Horizon" we're rushed through a background story with Mike Willis (Mark Wahlberg), but by the time he flies to the oil rig all we know about him is that he loves his wife and his family. Doesn't everyone? We know even less about everyone else we see. They're just hollow characters running around in circles. There should have been at least an hour added to the beginning of the film. Don't tell me that would have made the film too long. A good film is never too long.

Another problem was with the technical details of the events leading up to the catastrophe. Every few minutes a text flashed onto the screen telling us what some device or monitor meant, but I couldn't keep up. I needed a longer explanation. There should have been longer explanations. A fictional character could have been added, someone new on the job who could have posed questions about what was happening.

The best part of the film was the disaster itself. It's a well-filmed spectacle of explosions and fires, but even there I have a criticism. In part of the film, when the power failed, the picture was too dark. It was impossible to recognise who was on the screen.

At first I wanted to give "Deepwater Horizon" a 3 star rating, but after reflecting I had to downgrade it. It's not an average film, it's a poor film.

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