“Wind River” stars Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Gil Birmingham, Jon Bernthal, and Julia Jones. Released on August 4, 2017, the film has two agents solving a murder mystery on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming.
The film is written and directed by Taylor Sheridan, who is known for writing Sicario and Hell or High Water. So far, my experience from watching Sheridan’s works was pretty interesting. Sicario is still my favorite by far, and Hell or High Water was decent enough for me to warrant a recommendation. His latest film will now test his skills as both a writer and director to see if he’s really worthy of earning my respect. No pressure, though.
Much like Sicario and Hell or High Water, the film is a thriller that heavily relies on character-driven exposition rather than the action. The story itself is pretty basic on paper, but with the amount of scenes that showed a bunch of people talking to one another, it can really force you to pay attention to what’s going on. For those who like to watch a fast-paced violent thriller, the film is like the waiting game with the reward being an engaging and intense third act. However, if you’re more into a thriller that focuses on exploration and the characters, I believe that this film will suit you nicely. As for me, I’m somewhere down the middle for this one, but I have to admit, Taylor Sheridan is a pretty interesting storyteller. While it suffers from its slow pacing during a couple of scenes, there were a few things that managed to keep itself going, such as the talented cast. Renner and Olsen delivered some pretty impressive performances as Cory Lambert and Jane Banner, respectively. The cinematography and Sheridan’s direction also helped in showcasing the brilliant, yet, harsh winters of Wyoming while also providing a good amount of disturbing content to creep out its audience in a good way.
Overall, “Wind River” is a suitable character-driven mystery thriller that fully showcases Taylor Sheridan’s talents as a storyteller. Even though the film’s pacing will test the patience of those who have the word “action” on their minds, its strong cast and Sheridan’s impressive direction managed to prevent it from being a borefest. It’ll be interesting to see if this movie will earn Sheridan an Oscar nomination for either his screenplay or his direction, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself just yet. I would possibly recommend it to those who are into character-driven thrillers and to those who enjoy some of the film’s cast.