Movie Review: Wind River
Wind River is a 2017 American neo-western murder mystery thriller film written and directed by Taylor Sheridan. The film stars Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker and an FBI agent, respectively, who try to solve a murder on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. Gil Birmingham and Graham Greene also star (Wikipedia).
Plot: Cory Lambert is a wildlife officer who finds the body of an 18-year-old woman on an American Indian reservation in snowy Wyoming. When the autopsy reveals that she was raped, FBI agent Jane Banner arrives to investigate. Teaming up with Lambert as a guide, the duo soon find that their lives are in danger while trying to solve the mystery of the teen’s death.
Trailer: Wind River
It has been a while since I have seen a movie that didn’t involve or revolve around war, super heroes fighting a war, a talking raccoon, or a space ship. This is just good old fashioned story telling about a murder that is going to be tough to solve. The story pits a jaded fish and wildlife expert with a green FBI agent with no field experience against the backdrop of the Wyoming landscape, which becomes an essential character in story.
The purist in me loves the elements of literary storytelling as it pits man vs nature as the story opens with a young Indian girl running for her life. The temperature is below zero, she is barefoot, and the weather is so cold her lungs explodes. A true warrior like her people, she ran six miles in that weather to escape a group of men who used her simply because they were bored.
The plot thickens as we come face to face with man vs society with the same white men who feel entitled to take what they wants simply because the local officials have no jurisdiction on the federal drilling site where they work. One weekends, the band of brothers ride into town and pick and young Indian woman for their amusement. Cody Lambert’s daughter has been the victim of such a crime, having died several years before under similar circumstances.
Cody is not your typical hero in this story since he is face to face with his worst enemy – himself. In order to bring peace to his own heart and in his own head, he has to help solve this murder. It is not redemptive in the sense that he finds his daughter’s killer, but he is able to bring closure to his friend, who is the father of the young woman from the opening scene. A young woman, who was friends with his daughter. In the process, he also saves the life of the FBI Agent, and possibly his soul.
Wind River is a great date night movie with enough action to keep you entertained, as well as enough slow spots to jump up and grab a beer without missing too much. I give this movie four strokes of my pen on a scale of five.
I enjoyed it. I hope you will as well.
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