This is a confession. I’ve decided that I have to see more work from underrated director, Peter Berg. He’s had a few hits, he’s had a few bombs…but he usually makes an impression. Mr. Berg has helmed 8 features since 1998, yet I’ve only experienced two. Expect that to change soon, because I’m really getting the itch to view his latest, “Deepwater Horizon” on a big screen. I’m a little late to the starting gate (it opened on September 30th), but positive buzz, and word-of-mouth is eating at me. Mark Wahlberg stars, as he did in the director’s previous offering, but Kurt Russell and John Malkovich reportedly add ample support here. “Deepwater Horizon” is being recognized as a lean, stirring action film. And, in a way, Peter Berg is cornering the market on this genre.
Let’s start from the beginning. Alright, I’ve never actually heard anything all that positive, about the filmmaker’s 1998 debut, “Very Bad Things”. But it sports a solid cast, so maybe I’ll check it out someday. 2003 is when people really started taking notice, with the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson starrer, “The Rundown”. It never covered its production budget, but it had its champions. Things started sparking with 2004’s “Friday Night Lights”, based on the popular book, and followed up with an acclaimed television series. Next, came 2007’s “The Kingdom”. At this point, the word on Berg was hot. But again…the movie barely covered its budget. But “The Kingdom” has a fervent following. To this point though…I haven’t seen any Berg films.
2008’s “Hancock” was a huge hit for Will Smith, quadrupling its production budget. I did see that…and I liked half of it. But that half was so good, that I’m ready to give it another try. 2012’s “Battleship” cost a lot, and lost a lot…plus the critics savaged it. But I heard rumblings of “underrated” from some of the better critics, so I remain curious. 2013’s “Lone Survivor” did well with reviewers, and was a financial hit. It was my 2nd Berg, and I’m quite fond of it. Which brings us to this year, and “Deepwater Horizon”. I’ve got some catching up to do. Get thee to my Netflix queue! I’m ready to take Peter Berg seriously! Cinematic dearth–rectified soon!