WIND RIVER, the newest action thriller from up-and-coming screenwriter, Taylor Sheridan, keeps the former actor’s wordsmith hot-streak alive and well. Sheridan isn’t a household name – most screenwriters aren’t, for that matter – but if you’ve seen HELL OR HIGH WATER and SICARIO, you know Sheridan creates authentic characters and razor sharp dialogue. He believes the audience is intelligent, a quality that’s not always present on the silver screen, and that shines forth in his writing. The big question with WIND RIVER is can he direct?
While not as fast paced as his last two movies, the answer is yes, Sheridan shows he deserves to yell “action” with his helming of WIND RIVER. The pace of the movie matches the weather in the film: It starts slow and frozen, like the snow-covered scrub littering central Wyoming; twists the tension and isolation as an angry blizzard rolls through the reservation; and finally picks up the pace almost on queue with Elizabeth Olsen asking, “Didn’t you get the memo that it’s supposed to be spring?”
Concerning Olsen, she plays Jane Banner, a rookie FBI agent sent from Las Vegas to the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming to investigate an apparent rape and homicide of an 18 year-old girl living in one of the small, dilapidated towns dotting the harsh landscape. She was found by Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner), a US Fish and Wildlife tracker, who lost his 16 year-old daughter in a similar fashion – raped and murdered. Lambert shares this with Banner and the scene is quiet and powerful and shows the talent that both Olsen and Renner possess.
WIND RIVER is definitely worth the full-price ticket and gets a solid B+ from yours truly.
Tune in this Friday, September 1st, as we discuss WIND RIVER on the KVNU For the People Movie Show, as well as a lackluster summer box office and what’s on tap for September and October. Show starts at 5PM MST on 610AM or 102.1FM. You can also listen online by clicking here.
Check out the trailer for WIND RIVER below.