When Marine Cpl. Megan Leavey (Kate Mara) is assigned to clean up the military K9 unit after a disciplinary hearing, Leavey identifies with a particularly aggressive dog, Rex, and is given the chance to train him. Due to their unique bond over the course of their service, Megan and Rex complete more than 100 missions, saving countless lives during their deployment in Iraq. However, their fate is put in jeopardy when an IED explosion injures them during one of their mission. This is their story.
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Hello, Movie Buffs!
Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite; screenplay written by Pamela Gray, Annie Mumolo, and Tim Lovestedt; and starring Kate Mara, Ramon Rodriguez, Tom Felton, Common, Edie Falco, and Bradley Whitford. Megan Leavey (2017) is a true story drama about Marine Corporal Megan Leavey, the bond she shares with her military K-9 Rex and her pursuit to bring him home. Cowperthwaite, who also directed BLACKFISH (2013) – a critically acclaimed documentary about the inhumane treatment of captive killer whales – is the perfect person to helm this film because she has some experience with making films that highlight the animal characters.
Megan Leavey has strong language, violence, and focuses on some intense themes like trauma and grief but it also explores the bond between animals and humans. The story was broken into three parts. The first part is about the build-up of character; at this time Leavey is un-motivated to do anything until she finds her calling with the Us Marines. The second part showcases the relationship between Leavey and Rex. And the third part follows a newly discharged Megan Leavey and her new goal to adopt Rex and bring him home. The story is sentimental and inspiring, especially if you’re an animal lover. The trailers made the third part seem more dramatic than it really was but overall I thought it was a well-developed story. The only issue I have with the film is that it only shows Leavey being deployed once, while in fact, she did two tours in Iraq.
Kate Mara (We Are Marshall) did an impressive job as the slightly built Megan Leavey and her chemistry with the unknown dog playing Rex is great. The most impressive part is the care and training the K-9’s receive, and the bond between the dog and their handler goes deep. The rest of the cast - Common (Selma) as Megan's supervisor; Ramon Rodriguez (Battle Los Angeles) as Megan's love interest and fellow dog trainer; Bradley Whitford (Saving Mr. Banks) as Megan's father, who salutes her when he sees her after Basic Training; Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie) as Megan's mother; Tom Felton (Harry Potter) as an experienced Dog Handler who gives Megan good advice.
Overall, Megan Leavey (2015) is an entertaining and inspiring film about the bond between a Marine and their military dog, a bond the knows no bounds. The cast is great and while the story is not as important as BLACKFISH (2013) but it is just as moving and powerful, if not more so. I highly recommend this film to everyone but especially if you are a dog/animal lover.
"That dog saved my life."
- Marine Cpl. Megan Leavey
Worth Seeing: 8 of 10 stars
Worth Buying: 8 of 10 stars
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