Film Review: Deepwater Horizon

Ok… I know I’m a bit behind on this one – it was released in UK cinemas nearly a year ago but looking for something to watch on a Bank Holiday weekend and found this one on Netflix.

If you’ve never seen it or don’t know what it’s about, it tells the story of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig some 40 miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico.On 20 April 2010, while drilling at the Macondo Prospect, an uncontrollable blowout caused an explosion on the rig that killed 11 crewmen and ignited a massive fireball visible from the Louisiana coastline. The fire was couldn’t be put out and, two days later, on 22 April, the rig sank, leaving the well gushing at the seabed and causing the largest oil spill in U.S. waters. This spill continued until 15 July when it was closed by a cap.

So why write about the film?

Firstly, it’s a good film that’s worth a watch (even if the last 30 mins or so are fairly tense).

Secondly, because it reminds us of both the good and bad of humanity.

We see the worst of humanity in the the callous executives from BP (one of whom is brilliantly played by John Malkovich). The film, rightly, places the blame for the disaster firmly at their door. They are shown to be people who care solely about the profits they can earn. We see how the workers on the rig are urged to forget the safety protocols and instead try and get as much oil as possible so they can catch up with their targets. They didn’t care about the people’s lives or the potential environmental impacts – all that mattered was lining their own filthy pockets.

It’s a picture of the world we’re in. Everyone, everywhere is selfish. We’re all living for ourselves in one way or another. It’s one of the effects of the fall. Rather than living as God wants us to live, and love one another, doing to one another as we’d have them to to us, we choose to ignore him and do what we want.

Thankfully, the film also reminds us of the best of humanity too.

Mike Williams (player by Mark Wahlberg) is just a normal guy. He’s married and trying to do the best for his family by earning a living on the rig. As Deepwater Horizon progresses you see how this average guy steps up to the plate when it matters. You see as Mike moves through the breaking rig, he is repeatedly doing his best to help whoever he can survive. His life is risked as he carries the injured and stays calm in this midst of complete and utter chaos. Mike was fortunate to get off the rig, a number of his colleagues died, saving others.

As broken as humanity is and as selfish as it can be, we must never forget that we are made in the image of God. Each and every one of us is made in God’s image. Nothing else in all of creation is made in God’s image like we are. Even though we are all devastating broken, there is still some goodness in us.

I was thankful of the reminder. Too often I focus on how broken everything is but there is still beauty and hope. I shouldn’t think too much of people – as they are broken – but I shouldn’t think too little of them either.