Based on the true life story of a young Marine corporal whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq.
Walking into “Megan Leavey” I was expecting a movie about a soldier and her connection to her partner/bomb sniffing dog…and well..we got a little bit of that. Sort of. I honestly didn’t know where this movie was going initially, it started off as a film about a woman on her way to create her own path and letting no obstacle stop her, not her ever doubting family, not her military superiors…and especially the grumpy dog she’s wanting to train with.
The movie follows Megan as she enlists in the Marines in order to escape her family strains and the ever shadowing grief and regret left by the death of her best friend. As well as an attempt to redeem, as well as atone for said friend’s death. In the process, she is introduced to Rex while cleaning out the dog cages of the K9 unit, a disciplinary action placed on her due to some previous bad decisions made while out drinking on base. She makes it her mission to bond with this dog as well as be the best bomb sniffing team on base. The pair ends up serving two tours and on one mission suffer injuries at the hands of an IED. Megan leaves the military and makes it her next mission to do everything she possibly can to retire Rex and adopt him. She eventually does and spends his last few years with him.
With a great cast including a dynamic performance from star Kate Mara and supporting roles ranging from Bradley Whitford to Common, this cast is as diverse with its acting chops as it gets.
In the end, it was great to see the acknowledgment of the importance of the K9 military services and the impact these dogs truly have. I just wish they had spent a little more time with this dog on screen and his contributions, that aspect of the film felt minimal and rushed. Overall, a good film that definitely pulls at the heartstrings.
In theaters Friday, June 9th