Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) stars as Cory Lambert, an experienced animal hunter who is called in to help the FBI when a Native American girl is found dead on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Cory’s skills as a hunter prove vital in the search for the killer as the surrounding winter landscape is new to FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen, Avengers: Age of Ultron – and little sister of Mary-Kate & Ashley!).
Wind River is a murder mystery thriller and it certainly has you hooked from the start as a lone girl runs barefoot through the snow at night, clearly running for her life. The cinematography throughout is fantastic with some eerie scenes, like this opening, that really sets the tone for the film. Immediately you want to know what happened and as the film progresses details of the murder slowly start to be revealed. We also find out that Cory is hiding a painful secret of his own that makes his connection to the case clear and why he is so determined to find out the truth.
Jeremy Renner is great as Cory, there is a real sense of sadness behind his character, and when we find out his secret – in a beautifully acted scene – our understanding of him deepens. As a hunter he is used to working on his own so when partnered up with Jane there are initial clashes, but it is not long before a friendship of sorts is created. Elizabeth Olsen is perfect in this role, her character is flown in from Vegas to this little reservation in the middle of nowhere which is covered in snow. The reactions from the locals to this out of place agent immediately makes her want to prove them wrong, and when the FBI refuse to send backup Jane becomes determined to solve the case with only the help of Cory and the town’s small team of law enforcement. Elizabeth is instantly likeable in this role, she creates a character that isn’t afraid to hold her own amongst the men but also lets us see her vulnerable side. Together Jeremy and Elizabeth have a great partnership, their characters work perfectly on screen and it is easy to see the friendship forming between them as the film progresses.
The murder mystery element of the film keeps you gripped throughout, and though classed as a thriller it’s more in the sense of keeping you guessing as to the murderer rather than being scary – which was great for me as I’m not a fan of horrors! The truth is revealed in a very clever way – just before Cory and Jane figure it out we are seamlessly taken into a flashback of the events (it’s hard to describe just how seamlessly without giving anything anyway, but trust me it’s good!).
Overall, Wind River is a very good film. It’s gripping, brilliantly acted and full of tense moments as well as fast-paced action scenes – there’s something in it for everyone. Initially unsure of the film, due to no promotion for it over here at all, I was pleasantly surprised. It’s quite a serious film, due to the nature of the story line, but it’s certainly enjoyable.