Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Trailer Hate: Deepwater Horizon


America, I get it. You’re hard up for heroes in an election year when your choices are The Nineties: Part 2 and a racist pomegranate. But seriously, these clowns on an oil rig ain’t it.


Everything's golden in the suburbs.

Everything’s golden in the suburbs.

Mark Wahlberg, that relatable everyman/Transformers battler plays SomeGuy WhoCares, just another toolpush saying goodbye to his family in a golden-hued suburbia and heads off to his job on an oil rig. Even more relatable boss Kurt Russell sits at a desk and stares into space. And then….all hell breaks loose.

Yep, it must be Tuesday.

Yep, it must be Tuesday.

And that’s pretty much it. The usual disaster nonsense, with fire and explosions and Wahlberg saying “I’m going to get back to my wife and kid!” (because seriously, who cares about the non-famous cast members pretend families?) and a bunch of stirring music and more smoke and fire.

Loosely Based on Some Stuff, With Hyperbole.

Loosely Based on Some Stuff, With Hyperbole.

But it’s “based on a true story!” And for all I know, maybe the film will delve into the months and years of neglect by BP that led to the Deepwater Horizon going kaboom on April 20, 2010. But you know what? Kinda doubt it.

Instead we’ll get a bunch of noble moments and death defying and tragedy as entertainment, though at least this time it won’t be an entire city falling apart while Superman and that guy from Boardwalk Empire fly into things.

Oh and we’ll get lots of this…

Her arm may cramp up after two hours of this.

Her arm may cramp up after two hours of this.

Because that’s a really great and fulfilling role for a woman to play in 2016, isn’t it?

Unpopular opinion time: America, you should probably sit down for this. It’s time somebody told you that being in the way of something doesn’t automatically grant one hero status. If I get hit by a bus, I’m not a hero unless I went out pushing a grandma out of the way of certain danger. I’m a victim, which is sad and all, but no really “heroic.” It’s entirely possible lots of guys on the rig made big sacrifices to save their coworkers, and if so, then you can definitely call them “heroes.” But since almost all of that will be sublimated into Action Wahlberg running around being all action-y, any actual heroics get diluted in the service of this movie “based on a true story.”  It just won’t ring true.

Two hours of this crap.

Two hours of this crap.

Nor will the disaster sequences, if the trailer is any indication. More CG nonsense to cheapen the actual event, incredibly detailed and yet so overwhelming that our brains will check out five minutes in.

And most likely, you’ll forget about the whole business ten minutes after you leave the theatre. Hooray. That was a productive use of about $20 and two hours of your time, Future You. For shame.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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