I do not know why I waited so long to see Wind River. I loved the other two movies in Taylor Sheridan’s trilogy – Sicario and Hell or Highwater, I heard only glowing reviews, and heard many comparisons to Longmire which is a television show I couldn’t recommend more. I somehow never saw a trailer, so I guess it never got to the forefront of my mind. Add onto that, the two main actors aren’t ones that I would go out of my way to see. Jeremy Renner was on a fast track to action stardom between being groomed to take over the Bourne franchise and the Mission: Impossible franchise while also being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Matt Damon and Tom Cruise both took back their dominant roles and Hawkeye fell to the least important Avenger. Elizabeth Olsen has yet to impress me as an actress and just seems miscast in everything I’ve seen her in so far. Any who, so what was my final take away?
I would give it 10 “coincidental lions” out of 10.
FOR THE UNINITIATED
Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) finds the body of a young Native American woman. He works with the head of Tribal Police, Ben, (Graham Greene) and an unready rookie FBI agent, Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) to find the killer(s). As things start to be uncovered, we find out this related to a tragedy in Cory’s past.
Everything works so well together it is hard to distinguish one specific component that stands out. The acting is top notch, which is highlighted in several non-verbal moments. The score is subtle enough to enhance moments without standing out and competing. The cinematography showcases an environment that is breathtaking yet brutal and very unforgiving. The dialogue isn’t superfluous like a Tarentino movie, but every word is measured and necessary. The action scenes are some of the most suspenseful moments in cinema similar to the other two movies in Taylor Sheridan’s trilogy. Altogether, it builds so much emotion that will leave most people speechless for several minutes after the movie until they can regroup.
There is not a single aspect of this movie that I would change. The worst part of this movie is that it will be very under-appreciated and didn’t get more attention.
I regret not seeing this movie sooner and will not hesitate for the next Taylor Sheridan project, which will be Soldado (sequel to Sicario). His prior two movies had so much tension and emotion that you are left stunned, Wind River is no different. I could not recommend this high enough and will do my best to watch it again soon.
My recommendation is Hell or Highwater. It is very similar to Wind River in the way it encapsulates the culture and the environment, making it a character in its own right. Instead of a Native American reservation, it is in very rural Texas. The story is based around two brothers (Chris Pine and Ben Foster) robbing banks to save their family land and they are being pursued by a dogged / veteran Texas Marshall (Jeff Bridges).