Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. makes an impressive directorial debut in Wild Indian from Vertical Entertainment. Decades after covering up his classmate’s murder, Michael (Michael Greyeyes) has moved on from his reservation and fractured past. Upon release from prison, Ted-O (Chaske Spencer), a man who shares his violent secret, seeks vengeance. Michael goes to great lengths to protect his new life with his wife Greta (Kate Bosworth) and boss Jerry (Jesse Eisenberg) from the demons of his past.
Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr. opens up Wild Indian and introduces us to a young Makwa, aka Michael (Phoenix Wilson), receiving a lecture from a teacher at his private school. It’s clear that Makwa is suffering abuse of some sort, but he refuses to speak up. Makwa is also a victim of constant bullying in school. His only bright spot in life is his cousin Ted-O (Julian Gopal), but even Ted-O can’t seem to break away from the violent layers of Makwa. One day, an incident fractures their relationship, and the two go their separate ways.
Fast forward to the future, and Makwa is now known as Michael and rarely even mentions his former life. Furthermore, it’s clear that he still has anger issues. Michael Greyeyes fully encompasses the anger and downright diabolical behavior as Michael. Kudos to director Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr for using a semi unknown in the role, as it allowed me to become more invested in the character. Chaske Spencer was also impressive in the role of Teddy as a man who was dealt the wrong hand in life.
Primarily, the film belongs to Michael Greyeyes as he has the most scenes throughout the film’s ninety-minute run time. Kate Bosworth and Jesse Eisenberg do not have a ton to do in the movie. However, director Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr may have done this on purpose, to give the film a more realistic approach of naïve co-workers and family members who never truly know a person.
Wild Indian kept me engaged throughout its short length, and I do hope it finds an audience.
Final Grade: B
Wild Indian opens in select theaters on Friday September 3rd. In addition, the film is also available via digital and one demand.