Review of Wind River

Wind River (2017)
5/10
Why does every line of dialogue need to be a social commentary?
5 November 2017
Sure, this movie has some stuff going for it. The scenery is beautiful, cinematography is fine, Jeremy Renner is a likable guy, Elizabeth Olsen is pretty, and the local cop/sheriff (played by Graham Greene) is a believable character who acts like an actual human being. Too bad he's the only one. Wind River - even more so than Hell or High Water (written by the same guy) - is filled with dialogue where people talk in metaphors, where there's always a deeper meaning to what they say, in other words, it doesn't sound like normal, everyday people talking to each other. If they only did that in certain key moments, it would be fine, it could work if that's what the story demands. But when that's all you hear throughout the whole film, it becomes pretentious and irritating.

Also, I'm tired of the notion that certain movies feel the need to hit you over the head with their social commentary. When the young female FBI agent arrives, everybody is surprised, obviously because they don't think a woman is fit for the job (aka sexism). When they arrive at the home of the native American family, the father asks the FBI agent: "Why is it that whenever you people want to help us, you always insult us first?" (Because that's what white people always do, I guess.) When the Indian boy, who sells drugs, gets caught and confronted by Jeremy Renner, the conversation is about him fighting against the whole world, and how Jeremy Renner shouldn't say "we", because the only native American thing about him is his wife. And if that's not enough lecturing for you, then wait for Elizabeth Olsen thanking Jeremy Renner for saving her life, and Renner replying by saying, "you're a tough woman, you saved your own life". Obviously the problem is not the idea of "strong women", but the fact that instead of making it a natural part of the story and the characters, the director decides to shove it down our throats through such clumsy, heavy- handed dialogue.

There's a shoot-out scene towards the end of the movie, that I thought, was written and executed pretty poorly. First of all, at one point I couldn't even tell who's on whose side, and who gets shot by who. It felt like they tried to recreate the amazing border shoot-out scene from Sicario (also written by the same guy), only this time in the snow. The problem is that we don't know anything about most of the people who are in this scene, as they were just introduced two minutes earlier, but all of a sudden we're supposed care whether they live or die.

Anyway, if you're a huge Jeremy Renner or Elizabeth Olsen fan, you might as well go and check it out, but be prepared, it's not a very good one.
47 out of 84 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink

Recently Viewed