The BP oil spill in 2010 was an environment disaster, but the first trailer for Peter Berg’s Deepwater Horizon hints at an old fashioned monster movie. “That oil is a monster — like the mean ol’ dinosaurs that oil used to be,” a 10-year-old tells her dad (Mark Wahlberg) while rehearsing her classroom project about what he does for a living.
Wahlberg plays Mike Williams, an electronics technician on the infamous Deepwater Horizon rig, which unleashed approximately 210 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion that cost the lives of 11 men. Deepwater had been behind schedule and BP execs were applying pressure to catch up when the disaster occurred.
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The film promises lots of action and heroics, but the trailer captures the family man at home, before the tragedy. Not only does his daughter’s adorable presentation set the stakes and establish the main character, but it also serves as a useful primer for how the rigs extract the oil from the ocean floor — and the risks involved. There is a beast under them waves, and the faces of the crew (Kurt Russell, John Malkovich, Dylan O’Brien) grow more anxious as the rig’s steel groans and yields to the pressure. This is no can of Coke.
Deepwater Horizon opens in theaters on Sept. 30.