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"Deep Water Horizon" is an abstract animated short that did the festival circuit immediately following the BP Oil Spill of 2010. The entire piece is sourced from and representative of the ... See full summary »
In April 2010, there is no oil exploration operation in the Gulf of Mexico to compare with the Deepwater Horizon oil rig with its size or sheer depth of its drilling. However, the project for the BP oil company is beset with technical difficulties to the point where the general operational supervisor, Jimmy Harrell, and his Chief Electrical Engineer, Mike Williams, are concerned potentially dangerous trouble is brewing. Unfortunately, visiting BP executives, frustrated by the project's long delays, order curtailed site inspections and slanted system tests to make up for lost time even as Harrell, Williams and his team helplessly protest for the sake of proper safety. On April 20, the workers' fears are realized in the worst possible way when the rig's various structural and system flaws spark a catastrophic cascade of failures that would create a massive blowout and explosion that threatens them all, even as it also begins the worst environmental disaster in US history. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is the second film where Ethan Suplee's character calls someone a Democrat as an insult, the other being American History X. See more »
Just before the onset of the blowout, visiting BP staff are seen wandering around the derrick floor in their smart shirts. Ths is a major breach of safety rules. No one ever steps on a derrick floor without protective equipment. Similarly, Andrea should have permanently donned a coverall. And Mr Jim would normally, before anything else, don his coveralls upon disembarking from the helicopter. See more »
This was a major disappointment. Despite so much of the story depending on technical details, the movie communicated next to nothing. In the early scenes on the rig, people were shouting at each other, unable to understand each other because of the background noise. However, the audience was made to suffer the same thing, having no idea what people were saying. It turns out they were asking if a "cement test" had been completed, and after some time, after they were indoors and checked with various people, they discovered that the test had not been completed. So why was the audience made to go through the nonsense of not hearing what people were saying? It seemed a ridiculous plot point to portray in such an annoying way. The significance was that the test had not been completed, not that it took a few minutes to find that fact out because it was too noisy outside for people to talk.
Then began a number of discussions about technical matters. Little effort was made to help the audience understand any of it. Even the few diagrams and supposed shots of what was happening beneath the waves were far from enlightening. I think we were just supposed to let us the technical talk slide over us as mumbo-jumbo only engineers would understand. For my part, I began to think I'd rather have been watching a PBS documentary about the incident that so that I would know exactly what happened.
Once the disaster begins, very little effort is made to continue the narrative. There's a skeleton story of a few crew members saving each other and trying to get off the rig, but the vast majority of the time we just see explosions and flying debris, over and over and over, an endless series of quick cuts, each scene lasting only a few seconds, with lots and lots of noise, of course. Despite the action and colour and noise, it all became a tiresome.
At the end of the movie we see photos of the actual people involved in the incident. None of them, of course, looked like glamorous movie stars like Marky Marky or Kate Hudson. The roles required no great acting talent. Did the producers really have to hire big-name Hollywood names to fill those roles (one of the producers was Marky Mark). It seemed to be a great opportunity to use some lesser-known actors.
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