Movie relights fire under BP as payout cash still leaks away
Sep 29 2016 by Francis Osborne
The 11 men who died were "fathers, brothers, husbands, uncles, cousins".
"It was a day of confusion, and you see that these decisions are made by human beings, and human beings are flawed, and they are capable of miscalculation".
The nearly willfully negligent BP executive played by John Malkovich in "Deepwater Horizon" is so arrogant, so obstinate and so quick to brush off multiple and serious safety concerns aboard the ill-fated oil rig, I half-expected the good guys played by Mark Wahlberg and Kurt Russell to get in his face and say, "You bad man!"
It's as if director Peter Berg to look as accurate as possible emptied the how-to oil rig manual directly to his script. I mean it's tragic that 11 lost their lives but so many more could have and mark's character who he portrays.
In this September 13, 2016 photo, Mike Williams, center, an electrician and survivor on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, poses with Peter Berg, left, director of the film "Deepwater Horizon", and cast member Mark Wahlberg at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto.
With oil leaking from an underwater well for 87 days after the accident, headlines focused on the looming environmental catastrophe heading for the USA coastline.
Gina Rodriguez plays the rig's navigator, who makes the first mayday call. The original article that the film is based on sets its sights firmly on the events on the rig and the people involved, but without telling the tale of the following 87 days, it feels as though the story is only half told. The Deepwater Horizon was built at 85 per cent scale of the original rig inside a water tank at the abandoned Six Flags amusement park in Louisiana.
"At first, I wanted to meet Mike, so I reached out to him and we had great conversations", Wahlberg says.
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"But if you want to fly from Toronto to Los Angeles for something like US$50,000 a trip, they're going to keep punching holes in the ground and doing as best they can", says the 65-year-old.
Three years ago they joined forces to present Lone Survivor, a rehash of a Navy SEALs mission gone wrong in Afghanistan. Known for her role on the sitcom "Jane the Virgin", it wasn't well-known that Rodriguez holds a side for drama, but she pulls it off with even more of an ease than her comedic work.
Wahlberg said the movie teaches the importance of being calm under pressure, and expressed hope that enough has been done to ensure such a disaster never happens again. "The families of 10 of the 11 came to visit the set and we've shown the movie to them and that went very well". We watch as people helplessly scramble, climb, and scream their way into oblivion (or into lifeboats).
Some may take issue that one of the largest environmental disasters in history has been reduced to a fiery action movie. Nor is there much scrutiny of BP, which was found primarily responsible for the spill by a federal judge in 2014.
The extent of the damage caused by the spill saw oil company BP agree to pay penalties and compensation running into the tens of billions of dollars. 'We can't replace those guys, ' says actor Mark Wahlberg.
"One thing became clear very quickly - there's a type of person who has this job, just as there's a type of person who's the submarine captain, there's a type of person that runs the baseball club - it's in every walk of life, there are guys or women who are just right for the job".
The lesser-known documentary "The Great Invisible" digs deeper and tells the story from the viewpoints of surviving workers, oil company executives and Gulf Coast residents, who still deal with the largest oil spill in USA history. You spend time with the people who went through it and obviously it's a more authentic experience and gives me access to that part of the process that inspires me. "Or even if they take public transportation, it still has to have some kind of fuel source".
"Deepwater Horizon was the deepest rig ever, the deepest mankind has gone into the centre of Earth, and deepwater oil exploration is often compared to the space programme - instead of going up, they're going down".