Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen team up once again for a very different film. Set in the colds of Wyoming, Wind River sees them team up for a mystery.
Renner (Arrival, Avengers: Age Of Ultron), still suffering from the loss of his own daughter just three years ago, is now a tracker in a cold part of Wyoming near the Wind River Indian Reserve.
Whilst out following some tracks he comes across the body of his friend’s daughter, barefoot, badly beaten and left to die in the snow.
Olson (Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Godzilla), is a green FBI agent sent from Vegas, because she’s the nearest, to simply ascertain that the cause of death is murder.
You see, if she can get the coroner to say it was murder, she can get more Feds down to solve the case whilst she goes back to Vegas.
But the coroner won’t list the death as murder and so rookie Olsen is left to figure it out by herself. With some help from Renner and local Indian police chief Graham Greene (The Green Mile, Defiance (TV).
I was very much looking forward to Wind River, I think both Renner and Olsen are great actors. I wasn’t overly sold on Sicario from writer/director Taylor Sheridan but still.
There’s nothing wrong with Wind River per-say. In fact, it follows the Sicario template closely. But it is slow, despite us being thrown into the murder from the get-go.
It doesn’t really come alive until the final half-hour and by this time you’ve guessed the ‘who-dunnit’ bit so it’s a good-job Renner pulls no punches in metering out his punishment.
Both Renner and Olson are fine. Olson doesn’t get a huge amount to do it should be said and I’m left a little confused as to why the character Renner plays isn’t a local Indian, rather than one of the only white-men we see, other than the bad-guys.
The shots of a cold Wind River reservation are lovely and cold but it never seems to disrupt the investigation too much, the opposite is true, as Renner expertly tracks A to B to get the result they’re after.
There are some light-touch, funny moments, a few throw-away one-liners that will make you chuckle, but overall, it’s a serious film with a serious-face performance by Renner.
I think perhaps my expectations were too high for Wind River as it failed to live up to them. I felt like it would have been better served as a series, and it’s rare I feel that way. Perhaps this is because it reminded me, in some respects, to things like Fortitude or Tin Star.
It’s just a little too obvious crammed into just shy of two-hours, despite large parts of the film being shots of the beautiful, but chilly, Wyoming landscape.