13 September 2007 | bkoganbing
Along the Navajo Trail
Despite the 'creative differences' with producer Robert Redford that did not allow director Errol Morris to finish The Dark Wind, the final product did not turn out half bad. Sad that it was relegated to straight to video and did not get a theatrical release.
I liked Lou Diamond Phillips very much as Navajo Reserrvation officer Jim Chee, hero of many books by Tony Hillerman. Being part Cherokee himself, Phillips does have a very good insight into playing Indian characters as in Renegades, Young Guns I & II, and Sioux City.
Here he's the new guy on the force and hasn't made all that good an impression on his new boss, Fred Ward when he drives into a ditch while in hot pursuit of some speeders.
A lot of very strange, seemingly unconnected things are happening that Lou is asked to look into. A decaying body of an Navajo, the vandalism of a windmill, a plane crash in the middle of the reservation, some missing heroin from said crash, and the burglary of the Navajo Trading Post, yet all are connected. And Lou winds up on a suspect list as well.
Location shooting on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations really helps the story along. And there are some nice performances by Gary Farmer as a Hopi Deputy Sheriff, Gary Basaraba and Guy Boyd as a pair of DEA agents, and John Karlen as the trading post owner. Besides Lou and Farmer who are American Indians, a whole lot of the supporting players and small parts are played by same.
It's a good film, despite some filming goofs, with some very nice performances and a good story.
Hey even Alfred Hitchcock had some goofs in some of his classics.