Deepwater Horizon, the movie about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, is out and the reviews are in. Deepwater Horizon stars such actors as Mark Wahlberg, Jeffrey Skoll, and Jonathan King, and was directed by Peter Berg, the director of Lone Survivor. The film dramatizes the events of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster on April 20, 2010. You can watch the Deepwater Horizon trailer below.
Deepwater Horizon is currently scoring 81 percent at movie review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, which looks at reviews from major movie critics around the country to create an average score. The movie has thus far earned an average of seven out of ten among 156 total reviews.
The Deepwater Horizon film follows the story of workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig owned by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. On April 20, 2010, critical safety equipment failed. In the ensuing explosion, eleven crew were lost from the rig and are presumed dead.
The BP oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon also dumped some 4.9 million barrels, or 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in what The New York Times reported soon after the disaster was the largest oil spill in human history. The massive environmental and economic costs of a petroleum industry failure cannot be accurately calculated, but are indeed overwhelming. Though the spill was considered capped and sealed in September 2010, studies from scientists continued to show an ongoing leak at the site in 2012.
The cause of the failure at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig was found to be a defective cement seal on the seabed where the drilling equipment entered the Earth’s crust. As reported by The Atlantic, a United States government report laid the majority of the blame for the disaster at the feet of BP, who was the majority owner and final arbiter of standards and practices aboard the rig. However, the report also indicated that there was a level of responsibly to be cast on Transocean, the operator of the Deepwater Horizon, and Halliburton, the contractor who laid the cement seal at the drill site that eventually failed. Halliburton, it should be noted, had already come under public scrutiny as a major contractor during the Iraq War and it’s close ties to former Vice President Dick Cheney.
The BP Deepwater Horizon spill called into question the safety and legitimacy of the use of fossil fuels like oil, which in addition to being dangerous to mine and drill for, compound global climate change. The environmental impact of the disaster is brought up in a piece by the International Business Times, who juxtaposed the Deepwater Horizon film against the reality that was faced by those who depended on the water quality of the Gulf of Mexico for their livelihood.
“Unlike in the explosion-packed thriller “Deepwater Horizon” that opens Friday, the devastation to coastal towns and habitats along the Gulf did not resemble a fireworks show. The oil approached slowly, coated wildlife and beaches from Texas to Florida and forced communities to scramble to preserve their ways of life and sense of identity. In the years since, communities have continued that struggle to clean up and move on, showing their resilience even while recovery is slow in many places.”
The piece goes on to outline the dire straits faced by fishermen and those who depended on the tourism industry for survival, and their steady and, to this day, ongoing struggle to recover from the massive detestation of the BP oil spill. These stories would, likely, also make a fine movie, though perhaps not one with the immediacy of Deepwater Horizon.
In the end, reviews of Deepwater Horizon have been overwhelmingly positive. It is well to remember the heroism and human pathos that must have occurred when 11 people perished in the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the ensuing BP oil spill. Having a major motion picture remind us of the costs involved in energy production is an excellent thing, and it is even better that this reminder comes in the form of a quality film.
[Featured Image by Gerald Herbert/AP Images]