If you are a loyal member of The Empire, you know that I was born in Wyoming. I may joke about it from time to time, but it is a beautiful state overall outside of what we referred to as “the armpit” of the eastern part of the state near Gillette, because my town of Sheridan and Gillette have had a heated rivalry for years. Now, once you go west, watch out because it is some of the most beautiful places on Earth including most of Yellowstone Park. There are also elements within this beauty that can be dangerous, and it is here where “Wind River” takes place.
“Wind River” is directed by second time filmmaker Taylor Sheridan with Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, Arrival), Kelsey Asbille (Run, The Amazing Spiderman), Julia Jones (Jonah Hex, The Ridiculous 6), Teo Briones (Longmire, Lethal Weapon), Graham Greene (The Green Mile, Dances with Wolves), Apesanahkwat (Bagdad Café, Nightbeasts), James Jordan (The Endless, Certain Women) and Elizabeth Olsen (Godzilla, Captain America). Inspired by a true story of events that happened on the Wind River Indian Reservation, Cory Lambert (Renner) is an employee of the Fish and Wildlife Commission who tracks predator animals that kill local livestock. While on the job, he comes across the dead body of a young lady named Natalie (Asbille), who was barefoot and looked like she was running for her life and passed away from exposure to the winter elements. FBI Agent Jane Banner (Olson) is the agent assigned to the case and uses the help of Cory and Tribal Police Chief Ben (Greene) to help solve the case.
Renner, Greene, and Olson have good chemistry as the three leads, with Renner standing out as the quiet man filled with knowledge whose actions do the work incredibly. Jordan does not have a major role, but he gets my non leading role shout out doing a lot with a little for sure. The plot and storyline were also impressive, and at an hour and fifty minute, it does not feel long and really kept me interested. The plot had some good turns, but it comes together well, especially with a few side stories in this film that compliments the film as a whole. Even though this not a fast and action packed film, it has enough action at the right moments to keep me interested with the main storyline.
The look here is incredible as well, truly showing Wyoming in true fashion in a way that I have not seen in a film in decades, truly making me think of home and my childhood. The movie was filmed in the Park City, Utah area, but that is close to the Wyoming border, so it was able to keep the right feelin both its beauty and danger. Sometimes nature is not always a tropical paradise, and this film shows that. I have to warn this film has some violent scenes (including a rape), but it was necessary to tell its story. There is not anything in this film that I did not like, and as long as the kids are left at home, I will definitely recommend it as the coveted full price in the theaters. Also, don’t be surprised if “Wind River” makes my Top Ten films of the year.