DIRECTOR: Peter Berg
Based on the true and tragic events on April 2010, Director Peter Berg takes the helm of this re-enactment of the explosive ‘blow-out’ which destroyed the eponymous exploration rig off the coast of Louisiana. We follow Mike Williams (Mark Walberg) and the rig’s Manager Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell) as they butt heads with the profit hungry BP executives who are more concerned with the fact that the operation is 43 days behind schedule than safety and have began to cut corners.
Berg builds and maintains the tension expertly, as this procedural disaster movie takes shape, but this is no Titanic (1997) or Poseidon Adventure (1976). The disaster itself only takes up about 30 minutes of the 107 minute run time as we are taken through the technicalities of America’s worst ever oil disaster, one which claimed 11 lives and spilled 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
The tension is palpable, the disaster is terrifying yet exiting and whilst wearing its roughneck Vs. company man heart on its sleeve, you are left feeling that we are given a much greater understanding of the subject as well as the newsworthy disaster.
This is helped along by the great visuals and sound design, as well as art direction and visual effects, which along with the great performances, not least BP man, Vidrine (John Malkovich), makes this a must see.