Deepwater horizon

 

Deepwater Horizon is a 2016 American biographical disaster film based on the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Peter Berg directed it from a screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan and Matthew Sand. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez, Dylan O'Brien, and Kate Hudson. It is adapted from "Deepwater Horizon's Final Hours", a December 25, 2010 article in The New York Times written by David Barstow, David Rohde, and Stephanie Saul.

 

Principal photography began on April 27, 2015, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The film premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and was theatrically released in the United States on September 30, 2016. It received generally positive reviews, but was a box-office bomb, grossing slightly less than $122 million worldwide against a budget of $110 million, resulting in a loss of $60–112 million for the studio. The film was nominated for two Oscars at the 89th Academy Awards: Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects, and a BAFTA Award for Best Sound at the 70th British Academy Film Awards.

 

 

On April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon, an oil drilling rig operated by private contractor Transocean, is set to complete drilling off the southern coast of Louisiana on behalf of BP. Chief Electronics Technician Michael "Mike" Williams and Offshore Installation Manager James "Mr. Jimmy" Harrell are surprised to learn that the workers assigned to test the integrity of recently completed cement work are being sent home early, without conducting a cement bond log (CBL), at the insistence of BP managers Donald Vidrine and Robert Kaluza.

While Mike prepares the drilling team, including Caleb Holloway, Shane Roshto and Adam Weise, Harrell meets with Vidrine and persuades him to conduct a negative pressure test, which indicates the cement has not properly sealed the well from the high-pressure reservoir. Vidrine disputes the test finding and orders a second test. After concluding the second test was a success, Vidrine pressures senior toolpusher Jason Anderson to run more tests and orders the rig to remove the drilling mud and prepare the rig to move to its next job.

At first, the operation goes smoothly, but the cement job eventually fails completely, triggering a massive blowout that overpowers and kills Weise, Roshto and majority of the other drill team members. Holloway and Vidrine manage to evacuate the floor in time.

 

A chain of equipment malfunctions, coupled with a failed attempt to seal the well, ignites the oil, killing Anderson and the other toolpushers. Andrea Fleytas, the rig's Dynamic Position Operator, tries to alert the Coast Guard, only to be overruled by her superior, Captain Curt Kuchta, on the grounds that the rig is not in any imminent danger, at least until the rig erupts in flames, then Kuchta sends out his own call for help. With oil now spewing into the ocean, an oil-covered pelican flies into the bridge of a nearby vessel, the Damon Bankston, which was there to collect the drilling mud from the well, and dies; the vessel heads towards the rig just as the workers begin a frantic evacuation, sending out a rescue team after seeing the rig burst into flames. Harrell, still alive, although seriously injured in the explosion, is rescued by Mike and assumes control of the situation, only to discover that the rig cannot be saved. Aaron Dale Burkeen, a close friend of Mike's, sacrifices himself to keep a burning crane from collapsing onto the surviving crew, while Mike and Caleb are able to rescue Vidrine and Kaluza and get them to safety.

 

As night falls and the burning oil lights up the area, the Coast Guard becomes aware of the incident and sends ships and aircraft to rescue the survivors, who are being ferried in the lifeboats to the Damon Bankston as it was already on scene to assist with the evacuation and rescue. With all the lifeboats full, Mike locates the emergency life raft, but it becomes separated from the rig before he and Andrea can board, causing the latter to suffer a panic attack. Just as the oil in the well itself ignites and destroys the rig, the two jump into the water and are picked up by rescuers, who then ferry them to the Damon Bankston, where the surviving crew mourn their lost crewmen and say the Lord's Prayer.

Returned home, the workers reunite with their families in a hotel lobby; during which the parents of one of the missing crew members accost Mike, resulting in him having a panic attack. Luckily, Mike's family rush in to comfort him.

 

The film ends with a series of clips showing the aftermath of the disaster, including testimony from the real-life Mike Williams and the revelation that Donald Vidrine and Robert Kaluza were the only two people prosecuted for their actions; both were charged with eleven counts of manslaughter. By 2015 these charges were dismissed. Pictures appear of the eleven men who lost their lives before the credits. The movie postscript reads: "The blowout lasted for 87 days, spilling an estimated 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the worst oil disaster in U.S. history."