Wind River is a small slick indie film. It’s well done, fast paced, and quite a story. Alas, the movie opens with a young lady running barefoot for her life in a snowy region. This does not bode well. Switch to Jeremy Renner (Cody) on his snowmobile. He’s a game warden and is off to hunt a mountain lion that’s been killing livestock. Sadly, he finds the girl and recognizes her – a daughter of a good friend of his. As local police arrive and then the FBI, issues swirl as to jurisdiction. See, the land is part of the Wind River Indian Reservation, and that complicates things.
Cody ends up helping Elizabeth Olsen – the FBI agent out of her element. She’s been pulled in from AZ to Wyoming. So many layers to the story. Cody is divorced from a Native American. Their daughter also died mysteriously several years ago. He’s determined, for his Native American friend Martin’s sake, to find the girl’s killer. Slowly, threads are pulled together. She was seeing a white guy named Matt who worked out on a rig. In flashback, we see that relationship and what transpired. Like the hunter he is, Cody tracks carefully, looks for all the signs, and closes in on the story.
Wind River is not preachy but it does highlight some Native American issues. The poverty, the lawlessness, the plight of missing girls, and other underlying social/historical strains. Meanwhile, the story, the acting, and the conclusion prove to be dramatic. This is a “little” picture that deserves your attention.