Wind River: Film Review 

I love Elizabeth Olsen, I think she is excellent in every role (especially in indies) and she didn’t disappoint in Wind River, a riveting murder mystery.

She plays FBI agent Jane Banner, who is sent to a freezing cold, snow-covered Native American reservation in Wyoming to investigate the appearance of a dead female body in the snow. After the coroner is unable to rule the death a homicide, Jane can’t get back-up, so she teams up with local wildlife officer Cory (Jeremy Renner) to track down the culprits and find out what happened to the girl.

This isn’t a massively original story but the harsh, snowy setting really helps set it apart, as do the lead characters. Jane is a fish out of water, trying to lead an investigation in an area she has no idea about, while Cory is nursing a loss of his own and seems to be trying to make peace with it by helping someone who died in a similar way to his daughter.

This is an unusually emotionally-heavy role for Renner and he handles it with ease and puts on an impressive performance, while Olsen isn’t given as much to sink her teeth into but she’s fantastic as always.

The investigation is quite slow-going, bloodier than I expected, and the developments aren’t quite as exciting as they could have been, especially the main reveal because it was told in a flashback, the first piece of action which didn’t take place in the present day, and showed us what happened moment by moment. It felt weird structurally and an odd editing choice and meant we didn’t have that ah-ha moment of revelation as it was simply given to us.

Jon Bernthal makes a five minute appearance in that flashback and given he’s quite well known these days, I’m amazed he signed up for it, unless his role was cut in the edit. The flashback is a brutal scene that’s uncomfortable to watch but I couldn’t look away.

There is enough blood and guts and action to please fans, but it is all about the location and characters for me as the investigation wasn’t quite that mind-blowing.

In cinemas Friday 8th September

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