AMERICAN ASSASSIN review

It’s so nice to hear that Dylan O’Brien is well enough now to be up and working. Better yet, he’s not put off from doing action movies, which is what put him in the hospital in the first place. A true inspiration, if you ask me.

The story looks like it’s about a young man who goes on a revenge rampage after his girlfriend is murdered in a terrorist attack. Picking up the ability to essentially kick ass, he locates and kills these bastards until he’s caught by a secret government agency that’s been following his exploits and wants to hire him for his skills. Then his instructor gets a shot of reality when a former student of his turns up as a terrorist himself and the instructor, our protagonist hero, and their team are sent in to stop him. Looks pretty standard as an action movie is concerned, but both O’Brien and Michael Keaton are great actors, so it might be worth it just for them.

Speaking of which, here’s the cast. Starring, we have Dylan O’Brien (DEEPWATER HORIZON [2016], THE MAZE RUNNER [2014], TV show TEEN WOLF [2011 – ongoing], and the upcoming MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE [2018]), Michael Keaton (SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING [2017], FIRST DAUGHTER [2004], MULTIPLICITY [1996], and the upcoming DUMBO [2019]), and Taylor Kitsch (LONE SURVIVOR [2013], X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE [2009], and JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE [2006]). In support, we have Sanaa Lathan (NOW YOU SEE ME 2 [2016], AVP: ALIEN VS. PREDATOR [2004], and BLADE [1998]) and Scott Adkins (DOCTOR STRANGE [2017], THE EXPENDABLES 2 [2012], and THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM [2007]).

Now for the crew. Directing, we have Michael Cuesta, known for KILL THE MESSENGER (2014) and 8 episodes of TV show HOMELAND (2011 – ongoing). RED FLAG!!! A grand total of four writers: Stephen Schiff (WALL STREET: MONEY NEVER SLEEPS [2010], TRUE CRIME [1999], and 8 episodes of TV show THE AMERICANS [2013 – ongoing]), Michael Finch (HITMAN: AGENT 47 [2015], THE NOVEMBER MAN [2014], PREDATORS [2010], and the upcoming HANSEL & GRETEL: THE WITCH HUNTERS 2, no release date announced), and duo Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, both known for JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK (2016), LOVE & OTHER DRUGS (2010), and THE LAST SAMURAI (2003). Composing the score is Steven Price, known for BABY DRIVER (2017), GRAVITY (2013), and ATTACK THE BLOCK (2011). Finally, the cinematographer is Enrique Chediak, known for DEEPWATER HORIZON, 28 WEEKS LATER (2007), and THE FACULTY (1998).

Overall, I’m looking forward to this. I may not enjoy this movie having so many writers attached, but I guess we’ll see what happens.

This is my honest opinion of: AMERICAN ASSASSIN

(SUMMARY)

Eighteen months ago, Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) was on vacation with his girlfriend Katrina (Charlotte Vega). He proposed to her and she said yes. But almost immediately after that happy moment, a group of terrorists open fire on the innocents. Katrina is murdered and Mitch is left for dead. Today, Mitch has been training his mind and body in hunting down those responsible, which catches the eye of the CIA. They bring him in for his raw and impressive skills and sent him to Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton), the trainer of a secret special ops unit called Orion, who need his skills to hunt down a former student of Stan’s: Ghost (Taylor Kitsch), who is planning to build a nuclear bomb.

(REVIEW)

Aww yeah, son! Welcome back, O’Brien! This movie was bad-ass!

Let’s get the negatives out of the way. The story is pretty basic. All two of them. You read that right, there’s almost two stories here that don’t seem to connect very well. Mitch starts the story off looking for the terrorist group that’s responsible for his girlfriend’s death, then that story is pushed to the wayside so Mitch can help Stan take down whoever keeps stealing nuke pieces. Mitch’s backstory feels like it’s an excuse for the true plot to take place and I feel like there was a more sensible way to go about this. Since this movie is already sequel-baiting by the end credits, it would have been a better idea to keep his reasons for being a vigilante terrorist killer for the sequel instead of revealing that now. I only say this because I don’t know how the filmmakers could build on what’s already been established. By keeping his motivations a secret, you give an air of mystery about the protagonist, and in the sequel, when they’re ready to bring his story full circle, you reveal his motivations, and then his story carries weight. But what happens when you blow that load too early is you make Mitch look distracted and if there’s anything that Mitch’s character doesn’t seem like, it’s a dude who doesn’t get distracted.

Also, I really disagreed with how the villain was written. On the one hand, Ghost is an intimidating dude who is up close and personal with his kills, and he’s just as scary in a fight like Mitch, but I don’t think his motivations for going rogue are really that interesting. He was trained under Stan and the two apparently had a father-son relationship type thing. You know, the whole, “You trained me! You were like my father! And you left me out there to die!” thing. It’s like that. Here’s the problem. Even when the two are face-to-face with each other, you never get that impression from either actor, and I’m not ready to blame the acting. It was a writing issue, I think. They just seemed like two people with opposing opinions, not a father and son working out their problems or facing them. Ghost was a grown-ass man when he was in the Navy, and I can’t imagine that the two worked with each other for more than a few years. It would take much longer than that to develop a father-son relationship. And even if that were the case, Ghost knew what being in Orion was all about. Make a mistake, you don’t exist. You have your orders to follow and he didn’t follow them. He screwed up, so now he blames Stan for his own shortcomings. Having this father-son relationship actually strips away any bad-assery that the character was supposed to have, whittling him down to a crybaby bitch. So it’s kind of weird for that to be inserted in there and doesn’t really add any layers to either character, especially Ghost.

But enough with the bashing! Time to gush!

The action is really good here. It’s high energy, fast paced, looks brutal, there’s a lot of focus on MMA fight styles here. Take downs, leg grabs and the like. While the hand-to-hand fighting isn’t wasted, the gunplay is pretty awesome too. Lots of juicy violence. Every bullet that goes through somebody feels so impactful that you can almost feel the bullets going through your body too. That’s a hard feat to accomplish, so well done to this movie. The fight scenes involving blades of glass, virtual reality simulations that shock you if you hurt a civilian, a fight scene on a boat that hits every wave, it’s all really awesome.

But if the action movie’s action is up to snuff, then is that worth all the praise? Nah, bro, that’s just an action movie doing its job. It’s the characters that make the action memorable and this movie doesn’t disappoint in that. First up, I’m nominating O’Brien to play the role of Kyle Reese in James Cameron’s upcoming reboot of his Terminator franchise. He’s got the kick-ass soldier thing down to a tee and has a death stare that would make a grown man piss himself. Mitch is intimidating as fuck. A crack shot with a firearm, knife throwing, all virtually self-taught. While the character is always in some danger, no duh, you’re never truly worried about him because he’s too “off the charts” to be killed off by patsies and O’Brien’s intensity sells everything, from the loud action, to the quieter drama of a man pushing himself to seek revenge against those who deserve to die.

The rest of the supporting cast does well enough. Lathan has an amusing scene here and there, but if there’s anyone that steals the show, it’s Keaton. Holy shit, this might be one of his scariest performances ever, and that’s saying something considering he’s been Beetlejuice, Batman, and Spider-Man villain the Vulture in his career. When he flips a dude on his back and instructs how properly slice a throat, you get this sharp, icy chill surging through your spine at just how deadpan he delivers his lines. I felt myself sinking myself into my seat in hopes that extra inch would keep me safe from Keaton’s wrath. But more than that, and I’ll just end it with this… he bites a piece of a dude’s ear off… then proceeds to chew it in front of him, eyes widened like a horror movie cannibal! Need I say more?!

Not gonna lie, I wanna see this again. It was too fucking awesome for me to only see once. Yeah, the villain’s lame and the story sets itself up to be one thing then completely drops it for another, but the action is awesome, and the characters are pretty solid, especially Keaton, who is worth the price of admission alone, but arguably most importantly, it’s great to see O’Brien up and about again, kicking even more ass than before. I highly recommend this flick in theaters if you’re an action junkie.

My honest rating for AMERICAN ASSASSIN: 4/5

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THE MAZE RUNNER: THE SCORCH TRIALS (transfer) review

These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.

Young adult novel adaptations to the big screen have a tendency to be hit or misses. The biggest of recent years is HUNGER GAMES, bar none. Certainly the DIVERGENT series has its own following, but I think the surprise hit of last year was THE MAZE RUNNER. As much as I enjoy HUNGER GAMES, I had to admit that MAZE RUNNER was probably the best and my favorite. Naturally, SCORCH TRIALS was one of the more highly anticipated movies for me this month. High hopes and all that.

Starring: Dylan O’Brien (DEEPWATER HORIZON [2016], THE MAZE RUNNER [2014], TV show TEEN WOLF, and the upcoming MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE [2018]) Kaya Scodelario (THE MAZE RUNNER [2014], CLASH OF THE TITANS [2010], MOON [2009], and upcoming films PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES [2017] and MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE), Aiden Gillen (SING STREET [2016], TV shows GAME OF THRONES and THE WIRE, and upcoming films KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD [2017] and THE LOVERS [2017]), and Patricia Clarkson (ANNIE [2014], FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS [2011], and THE GREEN MILE [1999]). In support: Ki Hong Lee (THE MAZE RUNNER [2014], TV show THE UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT, and upcoming films WISH UPON [2017] and MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE [2018]), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS [2015] and TV shows GAME OF THRONES and THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO, and the upcoming MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE), Dexter Darden (THE MAZE RUNNER, JOYFUL NOISE [2012], and the upcoming MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE), Giancarlo Esposito (MONEY MONSTER [2016], THE USUAL SUSPECTS [1995], TV show ONCE UPON A TIME, and the upcoming MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE), and Jacob Lofland (FREE STATE OF JONES [2016], MUD [2012], TV show JUSTIFIED, and the upcoming MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE).

Directed by: Wes Ball (THE MAZE RUNNER). Written by: T.S. Nowlin (PHOENIX FORGOTTEN [2017], THE MAZE RUNNER, and upcoming films PACIFIC RIM [2018] and MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE [2018]). Composed by John Paesano (ALMOST CHRISTMAS [2016], THE MAZE RUNNER, TV show DAREDEVIL, and upcoming film ALL EYEZ ON ME [2017] and TV show THE DEFENDERS). Cinematography by: Gyula Pados (MILLION DOLLAR ARM [2014], PREDATORS [2010], BASIC INSTINCT 2 [2006], and upcoming films JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE [2017] and MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE)

Story on top (SPOILERS), review on the bottom.

(STORY)

The story picks up almost right after the first film. Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), Minho (Ki Hong Lee), Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), Newt (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Frypan (Dexter Darden), and Winston (Alexander Flores) are herded by their armed rescuers into a facility ran by Janson (Aidan Gillen). They are given functioning showers, fresh clothes, good food, all that stuff, even getting in touch with other teens who survived their own maze trials. Pretty much everyone but Thomas is taking this like it’s a good thing. Thomas thinks this is too good to be true. This is because every so often, Janson takes a small amount of the teens to what is said to be a farm where nothing but good things happen… but they’re never seen again. Things are only getting shadier when the longest lasting resident of this facility, Aris (Jacob Lofland), includes Thomas on the facility’s secrets. Covered bodies are taken to a restricted area and Thomas wants to see what this place is hiding. He has a particular vested interest in this secret when Teresa is hauled away and won’t let him talk to her. Successfully lifting a keycard off of a security guard, he and Aris gain access to the secret room and see the surviving kids that were previously hauled away are being harvested; blue liquid from their bodies. They aren’t awake during this, but don’t appear to be alive either. Things only get worse when Janson appears. Neither Thomas nor Aris are caught, but they discover who is really behind this facility and all its goings-on: Ava Paige (Patricia Clarkson) of the sinister organization WICKED: World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department, responsible for the kids going through the maze trials. Thomas rallies the rest of the Gladers and try to escape. They eventually find Teresa and successfully escape into the Scorch: the name given to the post-apocalypse world outside. Their destination: to find a resistence group fighting WICKED called the Right Arm, who will hopefully protect the Gladers. Unfortunately, this is a long journey to the mountains in the distance. Meaning they have to evade a ton of Cranks, the zombie-like beings infected by the Flare Virus. Sadly, after an encounter with a horde of Cranks, Winston is infected. After reaching safety, his infection is too great for him to continue and is left behind, but not before being given a gun to prevent the infection from turning him… which he does use. But the rest of the Gladers continue onward. One night of rest, on the verge of passing out from no food or water, Thomas sees an encampment of some kind in the distance, right in the nick of time to get caught in a lightning storm. They successfully enter the camp and are brought to their leader, Jorge (Giancarlo Esposito) and his daughter Brenda (Rosa Salazar). They aren’t the Right Arm, just some regular survivors out in the Scorch, but do indeed know where to find Right Arm. After eliminating the antagonistic relationship between them, Jorge agrees to take the Gladers to Right Arm. This is complicated suddenly when WICKED, led by Janson, attacks. Most everyone escapes, but Thomas and Brenda are separated from everyone else. They evade WICKED, but finding their way underground. They come across more Cranks and Brenda gets infected. They find their way to a small city of survivors hoping to find the others. They meet a sketchy individual named Marcus (Alan Tudyk), an owner of a club for getting young people high. He’s also revealed to be a secret ally of WICKED, sending anyone immune to the Flare Virus, and happens to also know the location of Right Arm. Everyone is reunited and the location of Right Arm is revealed. They move out and finally encounter the Right Arm. Turns out, the majority of them have moved out, but a few are still behind tying up loose ends. It’s here the Gladers meet Mary (Lili Taylor), once a WICKED scientist who jumped ship when their experiments were too unethical, and does her best to give Brenda a sedative for her infection. But as soon as everyone’s got room to breathe and figure out their next move, the peace is interrupted as it’s revealed that Teresa regained her memories and believes in WICKED… whom she calls to tell them where they are. WICKED attacks and rounds the survivors up, ready to herd them away. But one final bout of resistance, only Minho is captured. Promising to not leave him behind, Thomas decides he’s going to find Ava and kill her.

(REVIEW)

I liked it, but I don’t think it’s as good as the first one.

Let me start with what I enjoyed and thought this movie did right.

Unlike HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (2013), which there’s a serious argument that it’s the exact same movie as the first one, SCORCH TRIALS is definitely not a rehash. There are no mazes in this movie. It’s very much an odyssey film with a variety of visited locations, truly getting out of the maze and that one-note Glade. The movie does a great job at creating atmosphere and a sense of mystery, invoking curiosity from the audience. The action scenes haven’t changed. They’re very well executed, tense, exciting in all the right ways and that’s what I loved about the first one. I’m glad that remained intact. I also enjoyed their take on their zombies. I mean, no, running zombies aren’t anything new, but I like how this particular virus has varying effects on a host: particularly the scene where Thomas and Brenda are evading the Cranks underground. The zombies seem like they can meld with their surroundings, like twigs and leaves growing out of their bodies, I liked that. Too bad we don’t get to see more of it, but what can you do?

***SPOILERS***

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One of my favorite elements about this movie also is, with the exception of Janson, most of the antagonists of the story aren’t clearly defined bad guys. Characters like Ava, and later Teresa, seem to actually kind of wrestle with their own morals and decisions. They don’t seem like they want to hurt anyone, but are indeed those kind of characters that believe that the ends justify the means. Those are always more interesting characters to me and create the best kind of drama.

Also, I LOVE this movie’s climax. Whereas the ending of the first movie drove me ******* insane, this one is done SO much better. There’s no bullshit complicated explanation of anything, even though there’s no easier explanation as to why the maze trials were necessary to begin with… I should probably stop expecting that to change. Sad. In any case, it’s chock-full of tension and some serious “oh shit” moments that I genuinely didn’t expect. Thomas coming out like he’s going to suicide-bomb the bitches? Damn, dude. I mean, I figured that he’d use the bomb, but I was thinking he’d use it against WICKED, not on himself. Granted, this “suicide to prevent the bad guys from winning” thing’s been done before. Hell, HUNGER GAMES beat this movie to it years ago, but that was predictable and nearly brushed aside to hurry up the ending. This was actually done fairly well and treated pretty emotionally as the Gladers rally around Thomas in support of dying so WICKED doesn’t win.

***

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***END SPOILERS***

And the best parts of the movie, do I really need to say them? Giancarlo Esposito from TV shows BREAKING BAD and ONCE UPON A TIME, and the insanely talented and hilarious Alan Tudyk from TV shows FIREFLY and SUBURGATORY. ‘Nuff said, mother ********. Granted, Tudyk only has a bit role in the movie, but Esposito is a supporting character that we can expect to see in the inevitable sequel. Price of admission was worth it on their merits alone.

For me, as much as there was to like about it, there’s an equal amount of stuff I didn’t like.

For one, Esposito and Salazar excluded, new characters get criminally side-lined in one way or another. Aris feels like he’s an important character in the first act of the film, but as soon as the Gladers leave the facility into the Scorch, he is immediately regulated to near-extra status. He may get one more line later on in the film, but I have to kind of hold in my laughter when I thought that the line was literally meant to shout at the audience, “REMEMBER HIM??? HE’S IN THE MOVIE TOO!!! HE DID STUFF IN THE BEGINNING!!! REMEMBER, AUDIENCE???” Then gets side-lined again. Kind of lame.

***SPOILERS***

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Weirdly enough, the opposite is done for secondary characters that were barely in the first movie, but treated like huge characters here. I am talking about Winston, of course. I don’t even remember him from the first movie. But he’s treated pretty big here… at least, that’s what the movie thinks. He dies, and while the scene is handled pretty well, you don’t really know who Winston is and his death feels like a cliff-note in the grand scheme in the movie. An odd choice, as you can identify characters in the first film, you knew who was who, and who was important, but here, not really.

***

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***END SPOILERS***

Despite how intense the action scenes are, I am starting to get a little annoyed with shaky cam. I usually don’t mind it, but I’m starting to get a lot more distracted by this style of filming… getting annoying. It makes sense for found-footage films, but we can get a little more creative with our camera usage other than forcing the poor image capture devices to experience 10.0 earthquakes.

Honestly though, the worst part of the film is its predictability. Oh my god, I feel like I’ve been duped in so many aspects. I thought that Janson would be a morally ambiguous character. Turns out, he’s the ONLY character that’s as bland as they come. He’s a straight-forward dick character with no depth and therefore, no one gives a shit. Certain reveals are too obvious and should have been a shit-ton more shocking than they ended up being, which is UNFORGIVABLE in film. I can’t even get into this subject because there’s too much to get into.

For all its flaws, this was a sort of flat-line as far as the story is concerned. It’s not a bad movie, but it didn’t go up as much as it should have. Whereas the first movie was pretty damn good, this one is just okay. I still enjoyed it, but there are just too many odd choices in this to be better than its predecessor.

3/5

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DEEPWATER HORIZON review

At first, I wasn’t entirely sure what this story was about. I knew it was about an oil rig that got destroyed, but it wasn’t until later that I realized that this was the prelude event that lead to the 2010 BP oil spill; the greatest environmental disaster in American history. Not gonna lie, though, I didn’t know that going in and it wasn’t until the day after I saw this movie that I realized what this story really was. My ignorant ass assumed that some factory had an accident and caused all this damage. As a result of my ignorance, I went into this movie almost indifferent, having not connected the dots.

Time to look at the cast. Wahlberg is always great to watch and has become one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood, ranging from comedies like THE OTHER GUYS (2010) and the Ted movies, to action films like TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION (2014) and MAX PAYNE (2008), to dramas like THE FIGHTER (2010) and THE PERFECT STORM (2000). He’s been reliable to churn out the right performance for the right movie and he’s never really disappointed. Kurt Russell, a living legend and ever popular actor famous for THE THING (1982), ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK (1981), and STARGATE (1994). Gina Rodriguez, generally a TV actor that’s had brief appearances, or unheard-of movies, but recently has seen success in the hit TV show JANE THE VIRGIN. Rounding this out, Dylan O’Brien (THE INTERNSHIP [2013], The Maze Runner films, and TV show TEEN WOLF. Glad to see you’re on the mend, dude), Kate Hudson (MOTHER’S DAY [2016], HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS [2003], and ALMOST FAMOUS [2000]), and John Malkovich (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH [1999], BURN AFTER READING [2008], and CON AIR [1997]).

Now for behind the scenes. Directing is Peter Berg, who’s done such films as LONE SURVIVOR (2013), HANCOCK (2008), and FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (2004), which spawned the popular TV series of the same name. Weirdly enough, he also directed the critically and commercially colossal failure BATTLESHIP (2012). Penning the script is Matthew Michael Carnahan and Matthew Sand. Carnahan’s written films such as WORLD WAR Z (2013), LIONS FOR LAMBS (2007), and THE KINGDOM (2007). His partner-in-pen Sand hasn’t written much, but his last script was NINJA ASSASSIN (2009). That’s literally all he has to his name. The man behind the music is veteran composer Steve Jablonksy. His career stretches as far back 2003’s THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, and has worked steadily ever since. He’s also done TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS (2016), KEANU (2016), all of the Transformers films, LONE SURVIVOR and so many more. And for all you gamers out there, he’s also done the music for video games GEARS OF WAR 2 (2008) and 3 (2011). Finally, the film’s cinematographer is Enrique Chediak. He’s done films such as THE 5TH WAVE (2016), THE MAZE RUNNER (2014), and 28 WEEKS LATER (2007).

Overall, I was going in with curiosity, but obvious ignorance. It sure looked amazing, I couldn’t deny that. So let’s get to it. This is my honest opinion of DEEPWATER HORIZON.

(SUMMARY)

Based on true events, taking place in 2010. Mike Williams (Mark Wahlberg), Jimmy Harrell (Kurt Russell), Andrea Fleytas (Gina Rodriguez), among others are part of the oil rig Deepwater Horizon, scheduled to be gone from their homes for a few weeks. However, things get frustratingly complicated as the big wigs from the company they work for attempts to bypass safety measures due to being nearly a month behind schedule. But while Jimmy is able to push against the worst of their ideas, he still can’t fight against them being too thorough. While their initial tests for drilling further are successful, further test are ignored, resulting in a horribly devastating explosion of pressure that rips through the entire oil rig and an explosion that kills eleven men and the survivors frantically looking for others and escaping.

(REVIEW)

Let me tell you something I’ve noticed from some of the best movies I’ve seen. In INSIDE OUT (2015), I cried at all the scenes I was supposed to cry in because the story had been building up to that emotional payoff that the rest of the film supported. Pieces of a puzzle were put in place until the big beautiful emotional picture was revealed. But let’s face it, you don’t cry before those scenes take place. You cry as those scenes take place. What’s my point and how does it relate to this movie? DEEPWATER HORIZON is a unique phenomenon in my cinematic movie experience in which as soon as the action kicks off, I’m choking up all the way through the runtime. The emotional payoff is the entirety of the movie.

Now, this might be a good time to mention that this may be a pretty short review. I mean, yes, the actors are phenomenal. Every last one. But for those of you who might now know me too well, I think it’s more important to comment on what I believe to be the most important aspect of any story based on true events: the accuracy of the film.

Details can be found here:

http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/deepwater-horizon/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/achenblog/wp/2016/09/29/deepwater-horizon-movie-gets-the-facts-mostly-right-but-simplifies-the-blame/

To sum up the articles, Mike’s heroisms are a tad exaggerated in the film, he didn’t really save Jimmy, the decision to ignore addition safety procedures wasn’t made by one man, but rather the company big wigs that he reported to, so it seems like it was more or less certain details that were presented that were slightly tweeked and certain details regarding the real event were left out of the movie. Like, there were fishermen and students aboard the Horizon during the inferno.

Here’s my theory behind some of these changes.

Let’s start with who’s to blame for the incident. It could be that this movie is supposed to be in Mike’s point of view, and the movie is only relaying what he himself knew about everything, rather than the tried and true facts of what happened, possibly to keep it locked in a human story rather than a heavily dramatized documentary. Maybe in his perspective, Vidrine (John Malkovich) really is the bad guy and even Mike didn’t know the whole story behind the scenes. It’s also possible that they pulled an EDDIE THE EAGLE (2016). Vidrine in the film isn’t meant to be an accurate representation of the real man, much like Hugh Jackman’s character Bronson Perry doesn’t exist. He’s an amalgamation of Eddie the Eagle’s real-life coaches. The man doesn’t exist, but the methods used to train Eddie and the words said to inspire Eddie were real. The spirit of the two men were accurately portrayed, even if the actual man was fictional. I might argue that Vidrine in the movie plays a similar role: he’s not supposed to be Vidrine in real life, he’s supposed to represent Vidrine and the entire company BP, Transocean, etc. So technically, we are getting the facts of what happened, just not from the specific sources. Vidrine wasn’t the ultimate jack-off that caused the disaster. If blame was food, there would have been enough to end world hunger and get everyone fat.

Regardless of the decisions made, you know there’s a few idiots out there that will watch this movie and take everything they see at face value and claim it to be 100 percent factual, when the reality of it all is different. It’s a shame that the film takes those liberties and couldn’t do more with it. If it were me, I would have written Vidrine to be more accurate to the real man, that he was just following orders over the phone with his superiors who were really the inconsiderate fucks that led to this catastrophe. How much more could be said if all you heard was a voice telling Vidrine what to do, but no real face to go with it? Isn’t that kind of how the real thing went down anyway? Notice how a lot of the blame goes toward BP, Transocean, etc, but no specific names. There’s no John Doe that we’ve prosecuted, just the companies as a whole. How much digging would the average joe have to dig through the ocean of dirt we call the Internet to actually find specific names to hold accountable?

Also, according to what I’ve read, the fishermen and students were completely pushed to the wayside, not even referenced. That’s… kind of strange, in a bad way. The only reasons I can think of for leaving them out of the story is, one, keeping it with Mike’s perspective and maybe he didn’t have any contact with those folks? Ehhh, more likely it was a pacing issue. More characters to get invested in, it could get a little crowded. Still… kind of a jip.

In the end, I don’t think that’s why this movie was made. There’s documentaries and TV specials that go into detail about everything that happened, so I’d like to think this movie isn’t about information. It’s about survival and the perseverance of the human spirit and honoring the lives of the men that died that fateful day with the men who survived, and giving us a front seat to the chaos is Mike Williams.

This isn’t an easy film to watch, guys. Some may call it an action movie, a disaster flick, but to me, this would be more closely considered a horror film. Dumb decisions made at the expense of human lives, the sheer scope and scale of the destruction, and Wahlberg’s heart-wrenching performance is nothing short of a marvel, making this one of my favorite movies with him. Maybe the information provided isn’t wholly accurate, and some facts get completely brushed off, but it’s an emotional and horrifying film, and I think it should it should be seen by one and all.

My honest rating for DEEPWATER HORIZON: recommended – a must see.

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