I do like dogs. I am allergic to cats so I can not say I love them, but do not hate them (Sorry, Toothless and Jasper… Editor’s Note: they forgive you… this time.). My very first pet was a collie named Shannon, who was truly as great pet, followed by blue mural named Misty. Now I am not a member of PETA, but I truly hate animal abuse. I went hunting once, and it was not for me, but I am not against it if they are responsible in their endeavors.
“Megan Leavey” is a biopic from Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Blackfish, City LAX) and stars Kate Mara (The Martian, 127 Hours), Bradley Whitford (Get Out, Scent of a Woman), Common (Selma, Wanted), Will Patton (Armageddon, The Postman), Edie Falco (The Sopranos, Cop Land), Geraldine James (Gandhi, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and Tom Felton (Stratton, Risen). Megan’s story starts as a girl with no real direction in life who decides to become a Marine and ends up in the K-9 Explosives Unit training a dog named Rex. They end up being deployed to Iraq where Megan and Rex build an incredible bond, and after Megan ends up getting injured and leaves the military and she goes on a fight to adopt Rex, who was injured as well but is returned to action.
Mara does well here, as does the rest of the cast. On the supporting cast, I think Common shines the best, but if I give a shout role, it actually goes to the dog(s) that play Rex. As a main character, the dogs were all well trained and added personality to the tale. When it comes to the look of the film, it was good overall. It showed the military bases as if what you expect to see, but what did impress me, was the parts of the film that showed Iraq, especially off the bases. The lighting and outside shots also enhanced the films.
The movie flowed well overall and did not drag, but there are three parts of the film to me: her life before, during, and after deployment. The film moved along well in the first and third acts, but the second is where it kicked into gear for me. The time flew when they are doing the bomb detections and action scenes, but then it kind of slows on the last part of the film of dealing with post military life and trying to adopt the dog. I did not hate those parts, but it felt like a different film. I did enjoy the film overall, and I will recommend it, especially to a vet, as a matinee showing.