The label "Inspired by the true story of real-life heroes" is what Peter Berg is vehicular for, after "The Lone Survivor" and "The Kingdom." And just like what is expected, a lot of special effects such as the explosions feel real in this movie. Also like his past films, "Deepwater Horizon" relies heavily on the humanity of the characters than these special effects. But would it serve as a great depiction to one of the biggest natural disasters in history?
The first act lets the main characters shows what their purpose is. It also seemingly details what the different departments do - there's the oil rig workers, the engineering crew, the monitoring department and the BP. And where the film does work, is how it crafts these characters, whom are mostly well-established, charismatic and likeable. Kurt Russell and John Malkovich, in particular, are the major highlights of the film.
But the centerpiece of Deepwater Horizon is the rig explosion scene. Once the main event starts, the audience is nowhere to escape. The explosion scene is adrenaline-fueled and jaw-dropping. Of course the chaos is looming, but the tension here is built through characters and situations, rather than classic disaster clichés. All of this, thanks to Berg and company. However, the audience may find themselves confused by time to time, as the film contains technical jargons (like negative pressure test and kill line).
VERDICT: Deepwater Horizon is one of the best, if not the best Michael Bay movie we never had in a long time. Consider that as a compliment.