Film Review: Wind River – 8/10

“Luck don’t live out here…”

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe is such an all consuming circus that is easy to forget that the actors involved are all pretty much leaders in their field. It’s been so long since I saw Jeremy Renner do something other than shoot arrows at vague but menacing enemies, that his performances in films such as Hurt Locker and The Town feel a world away. Wind River is a reminder of just how good Renner can be…

When a Native American woman is brutally murdered, wildlife tracker Cory Lambert (Renner) must combine with fish out of water FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) to try to ensnare the animal responsible for the attack. Man is, after all, the most dangerous game. Wind River has moments of brutality but rather than being shoved down your throat a la Prisoners, the violence here is more nuanced and therefore more effective. Think Manchester By The Sea but in the freezing Wyoming winter. Wyoming By The Snow if you prefer.

Writer/Director Taylor Sheridan has form in this area, having been behind the similarly gritty but brilliant Hell or High Water. The difference here is that Renner is just a classier actor than Chris Pine and he elevates the whole film into something approaching classic territory. Elsewhere, Elizabeth Olsen has proven herself time and time again and while she feels slightly miscast here, she shares a believable chemistry with Renner that helps to anchor the films more far fetched moments.

Wind River is a film that is destined to fly under the radar, if you are looking for something with a bit more brains than the standard Hollywood fare however, look no further. Also Jon Bernthal slowly removing his shirt made me feel things I haven’t felt since Ryan Reynolds chopped wood topless in The Amityville Horror.

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