With "Deepwater Horizon," Hollywood attempts the difficult maneuver of having its cake and eating it too. It's certainly possible to make a rabble-rousing liberal issue movie, and it's even easier to make any sort of film that involves lots of CGI explosions, but it's rare that a filmmaker gets the chance to do both in the same movie.

"Deepwater Horizon" was put together by Participant Media, whose mission statement calls for making "entertainment that inspires and compels social change." With "Deepwater Horizon," it is blessed with an actual ecological disaster from 2010 in which an offshore BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico spectacularly went up in flames. The result is something like "Erin Brokovich" crossed with "The Towering Inferno" — one hour of "Big corporations are going to screw you, man," followed by an hour of fireballs and chaos.

It's no surprise to find Mark Wahlberg in the lead role as Mike Williams, a chief engineer on the drilling platform; like Matt Dillon before him, it seems nothing signifies "working-class" like an authentic East Coast townie accent. Neither is it surprising to find the face of corporate greed played by a sneering John Malkovich, slipping in and out of some vaguely defined Confederate-state accent. Bald is bad, unless it's Vin Diesel.