Thursday, August 24, 2017

[Review] Wind River

Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen lead the way in the ice-cold backcountry thriller, Wind River. It's a film that also spotlights the troubling lack of reports on missing Native American women.

Amidst a run-down reservation in the frozen tundra of Wyoming, we meet Cory (Renner), a self-proclaimed "predator hunter" (and he isn't lying) who teams up with a tribal police chief (Graham Greene) and an ill-equipped FBI Agent (Olsen) in order to investigate the grisly murder of a young woman found in the middle of nowhere. And to top it of, a big blizzard is on the way.

Like the chilly wind gusts, this film is harsh, unrelenting, and it cuts right through you. Directed by Taylor Sheridan (screenwriter of Sicario and Hell or High Water), it's an expectedly difficult watch--sort of like blend between Winter's Bone and Prisoners--with its brutal imagery, jarring surprises, unsavory characters, insanely intense shootouts, and a coat of darkness that just can't be shaken. Emotional turmoil runs as high as the snowy mountains, especially as we meet the parents (played by Gil Birmingham and Althea Sam) of the diseased woman, and learn of the heavy baggage that Renner's character lugs around.

In Wind River, there isn't a major revelation, shocking twist, or satisfying catharsis. But considering a story like this, going out with a whimper makes sense. Its final sliver of justice....poetic.

( 8/10 )

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