We’ve seen an increasing amount of industrial “docufilms” in recent years – Captain Phillips and Flight, to name but a couple. But the interesting thing about Horizon is that it is a glimpse into a shady industry that is rarely depicted on screen – most people simply don’t know a lot about it. And we definitely didn’t know the intricacies of the catastrophic BP oil spill in 2010 – but boy, you’ll be glad you do now.
Let’s make no bones about this – Horizon has made its intentions very clear. Rig workers: Good. BP execs: Bad. But then it would have been inappropriate to depict it any other way – and judging by the content, it’s too damn right that BP are being depicted as the evil villains. Add to that the fact that you’ve probably never witnessed anything quite like the horror of an exploding oil rig, and you’ll likely leave the theatre with a burning hatred for the industry. If nothing else, Horizon certainly earns emotional investment.
But as always, we’re left asking the question “just how Hollywoodised is it?”. We’ll probably never know – and quite honestly, we don’t really care either. The takeaway is that this was a tragic event. The tech speak will likely fly straight over your head, but understanding the technical reasons for the disaster isn’t the purpose of Horizon – it is to pay homage to those who died. And in this respect, it performs beautifully.
It’s safe to say that Berg has effectively ticked every benchmark of a thought-provoking docufilm. Ignoring Malkovich’s dodgy southern drawl, Horizon is visually spectacular, positively bludgeoning you with that emotional baseball bat. But it’s the strong performances from Wahlberg, Russell, and co. that firmly secure the ORWAV seal of approval.
CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Dylan O’Brien, John Malkovich, Gina Rodriguez
DIRECTOR: Peter Berg
WRITERS: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Matthew Sand
SYNOPSIS: A true story set on the offshore drilling rig Deepwater Horizon, which exploded during April 2010 and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history.