March 12, 2023

Wind River Movie Review


Wind River Film Review Sundance 2017

Taylor Sheridan directs for the first time in Wind River, a film which immediately identifiable as the work of the man who wrote both Sicario (2015) and Hell Or High Water (2016). The story of a game tracker in Wyoming who becomes entangled in a murder on a Native American reservation, it shares some themes, and character types, with Sheridan’s earlier work; its rugged, snowy landscapes where one man faces into the frontier occupy every inch of the screen.

Wind River Film Review Sundance 2017
Wind River Film Review Sundance 2017

                Taylor Sheridan, the screenwriter of ‘Hell or High Water’ and ‘Sicario,’ makes his directorial debut with another humanistic crime drama, though this one has more skill than excitement.

Wind River Review

Sheridan has had an amazing last two years with his critically acclaimed screenplays in Sicario and Hell or High Water. It is one of the most complete, beautiful, moving and thrilling films I have ever seen at Sundance. The first 45 minutes of this film are a slow build, we learn about these two characters, we discover the town of Wind River and the cold, dark, lifeless opportunities it provides. This film is a deep commentary on life, its meaning and rising above your environment, but it is one hell of an action thriller.

                 The movie opens in the middle of the night, with a Native American woman running barefoot, like a wounded animal, across the snowy tundra. A day or two later, her body is discovered by Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner), a wildlife officer whose job is to hunt and kill predators, like coyotes and wolves, that prey on local farm animals. Given how solid an action-thriller it is, WIND RIVER may well prove to be a word-of-mouth sleeper the same way Sheridan’s other films have been. It certainly deserves to break out. It’s accessible, action-packed and smart, and Sheridan’s now in the enviable position of being three-for-three.

Jeremy Renner Has Never Been Better in This Snowy, Shocking Thriller

Wind River follows stoic and skilled fish and wildlife service agent Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) as he discovers a young woman’s body in the snowy mountains of Wyoming while on assignment to find a pack of mountain lions who have been wreaking havoc on the local livestock of the titular Indian reservation. The star of films such as Arrival, The Town, and The Avengers franchise has always done perfectly fine in supporting roles. But with the obvious exception of his Oscar-nominated performance in The Hurt Locker, most of his turns as a leading man haven’t been anything to write home about.

Jeremy Renner Is An Ice-Cold Cowboy In Taylor Sheridan’s Solid Noir Sundance 2017

It’s a long while before the implication of this throwaway line becomes clear, although anyone who’s seen Taylor Sheridan’s tersely didactic “Hell or High Water” should already know that the emerging scribe here directing one of his own scripts for the first time doesn’t really do throwaway lines. Fortunately, the cops have some help in Lambert, a U.S. Fish & Wildlife employee whose job is to kill anything he tracks down that has four legs and big teeth. But when Lambert comes across the frozen body of a familiar teenage girl, raped before being drowned from the blood in her lungs, it’s clear that some additional backup might be required.

                      At the very least, Sheridan shows great promise as a filmmaker with his directorial debut. And when the time comes for Sheridan to deliver another script that’s as good as Sicario and Hell or High Water, I sincerely hope he gets a chance to direct it himself so we can see how he evolves behind the camera.

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