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Deepwater Horizon


Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Kate Hudson, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan Walsh, Ethan Suplee, Peter Berg

Director: Peter Berg

The average layman will have problems keeping up with the technical jargon in the long preamble leading up to the disaster that befell the free-floating Deepwater Horizon oil rig in 2010, though the film fails to make clear exactly what caused the explosion of mud and water that led to such an uncontrollable fire.

This half-hour sequence is obviously the highlight of the film; amid the fearsome flames and crashing debris as the rig gradually collapses, it's something of a miracle that 115 of the 126 crew escaped with their lives. Indeed, as a disaster movie, it called be called The Floating Inferno.

Wahlberg is the chief electrical engineer, Mike Williams, and Russell, who was tackling fires as far back as 1991 in Backdraft, plays oil rig boss Mr Jimmy; both men are uneasy at BP's corner-cutting and elect, too late, to run further safety tests.

The names of the dead are roll-called at the conclusion of the action, further extending the very long end credits of a film that, like its performances, is efficient without hitting any heights.

David Quinlan

USA 2016. UK Distributor: LionsGate. Colour (unspecified).
109 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 24 Sep 2016