Paul Berg's disaster thriller was entertaining and surprisingly touching, with moments of nail-biting tension. But as exciting as the main/climatic action sequence was - and the moments leading to the blowout was truly brilliant - the other sequences were less so, with the film unfolding passively and even confusingly sometimes.
Berg took his time to establish the scene and heavily, and clumsily, foreshadowed the events to come which was so unnecessary since we already know it is coming. That begs the question: what was the point?
In addition, Berg focused on Mark Wahlberg and neglected the rest of the cast, and that made relating to them as they navigate through the disaster very challenging. Especially since they were all dressed similar-ish on the rig, It was good that Berg spent the first act laying the ground but most audience members would be unfamiliar with the layout of an oil rig. As such, without a clear idea of the design of the rig and how the space is arranged, there was less of an impact when the disaster struck because everything just got even more confusing.
Wahlberg was his usual all American, self-sacrificing, family-loving hero - the same type he had played before so many times. Kudos to Wahlberg and Kate Hudson for making their relationship believable. Their chemistry really helped to add a layer of emotional weight to an otherwise macho-adrenaline driven thriller.
Kurt Russell commanded the screen but of course he played second fiddle to Wahlberg.
And then we have Gina Rodriguez. Her character was written so badly. Initially she was introduced as a smart, resourceful and capable character but as the story progressed, she devolved into a pathetic whimpering, damsel in distress that needed to be rescue. Chauvinistic much?
The saving grace for the film was really the intense action sequence depicting the blow-out. After that, the film just could not keep up with the adrenaline and slowly petered out as we watched passively as the rig gets destroyed.