Movie Review–Deep Water Horizon

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Collins Davis ’18


On April 20, 2010 one of the world’s largest and most devastating oil spills began. It occurred on BP’s free floating rig named the Deep Water Horizon. The spill was caused by an explosion resulting in a massive fire, and eventually the sinking of the Deep Water Horizon. The men and women aboard the rig were unable to seal the well before they were forced to abandon ship and seek rescue. The well then leaked for 87 days and is said to have spilled over 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

The movie Deep Water Horizon focuses on the bravery showed by the ship operators and the┬ánegligence of BP’s company men. The film begins when Mike Williams and several other workers board the rig, and a team that was supposed to run tests flies home before the tests are ever completed. The test was supposed to check the cement at the ocean floor where the drill and other machinery lies. As Mike arrives on board he is suspicious about the condition of lots of machinery on board the rig and the cement at the ocean floor. He and Jimmy Harrell, one of the managers aboard the rig, become angry with the BP company men and insist that the rig is not ready to pump oil. The company men don’t believe Jimmy and Mike. They decide to run some tests, testing the integrity of the machinery and cement at the ocean floor. The tests seem to run fine, but some effects reveal that there is a major problem with the machinery. The BP men insist that everything is fine and convince the workers to begin to drill even though they are still unsure that the rig is ready. As they begin to drill they discover that the pressure is extremely high and they cannot stop it. All at once oil begins to soar out of the drill onto workers and the company men. The oil is unstoppable and eventually catches fire. Mike springs into action saving several men including Jimmy. They are unable to cut the pipe at the ocean floor, and have to abandon ship before anything else can be done. The rig eventually sinks to the ocean floor causing a rupture in the pipe that cannot be fixed immediately.

The film reveals how brave the men working on the rig were, and how the drive to make money can blind people from the dangers of their line of work. Had the BP company men been a little more careful they could have prevented one of the largest man-made disasters in history. Thanks to the bravery, particularly of Mike Williams, many lives were saved and families were able to hug their loved ones again.