‘Deepwater Horizon’ looks like the real deal

08.26.16 9 months ago

Clip It: Each day, Jon Davis looks at the world of trailers, featurettes, and clips and puts it all in perspective.

Get off the phone, Mark Wahlberg! Get off the phone! Even if your wife is Kate Hudson, there are clearly some problems on this oil rig that need your attention!

That's what I was thinking during most of this Deepwater Horizon trailer. 

This is all a true story, and director Peter Berg and his crew have done an incredible job in terms of set design.They recreated the entire oil rig. The main deck, the heli-deck, the tanks, the drill shack, and the bridge, it's all there. Even the screens are real. That's incredible attention to detail. The audience can always sense when something is genuine. And I think that's what we're seeing here.

I'm uneasy about movies like these because the 2010 tragedy on which its based is so recent that I'm not sure there's enough distance from it to offer proper perspective. But on the other hand, because everything is recent, it's fresh in everyone's memory so  the details might be more accurate. It's also a setting that many have never seen. Most of of us have not been on an oil rig, and it appears to be its unique little world. 

And then there's the mud blowout. It's weird to say how phenomenal it looks because this was an actual thing that happened that killed people. From a film perspective, the best version of this I've ever seen is There Will Be Blood. This is a different genre of movie, but the blowout really looks terrifying. Can the movie do well by these characters – who also consulted on the movie – while not turning them into bland heroes? I don't know. That's my biggest concern. But I repeat: It looks amazing. 

I'm definitely in. Are you? Tell me. 

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