MPAA Rating: PG-13
(for war violence, language, suggestive material, and thematic elements
Runtime: 116 minutes
Directed by: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Cast: Kate Mara, Edie Falco, Ramón Rodríguez, Matt Morales, Andrew Dean, Common
Megan Leavey joined the Marine Corps for several reasons when things were not going her way. At first she has a kind of “why am I here and did I do the wrong thing attitude”? A subplot about Megan’s relationships with her mother and father, who are separated, shines some light on why she feels so challenged.
Through all the things the newbies have to go through in basic training, eventually Megan (Kate Mara) becomes a corporal (Kate Mara). One of her assignments is to clean the K9 area. She’s not excited about this assignment, until she sees Rex, one of the bomb-sniffing dogs being somewhat aggressive.
After seeing one of her comrades with his K9 dog, Megan wants one too. She’s put through several ordeals, often with other Marines making fun of her. But she throws everything she has into this task and surprises everyone with her in Iraq that she is just as capable of her duty and Rex’s as anyone fighting with her; they are both now warriors. There’s a touch of romance in the story that helps lighten up some of the distress.
Kate Mara (The Open Road, Tramscendence, Netflix’s House of Cards) does an extremely good job of portraying Megan Leavey. Leavey and Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Blackfish) can certainly be proud of their decisions in recruiting Mara for this role. She made every moment in the film feel real. The cast of marines including Edie Falco, Ramón Rodríguez, Matt Morales, Andrew Dean, and Common do a great job in presenting a true-to live vision of what these wars entail and how it affects everyone involved.
Learning about the K9 dogs and how they are trained and taken care of is also interesting to learn about through the story of Rex. This is a great film to see, and anyone who loves our military may shed a tear of two (I did both times I saw the film), and will be even more grateful for all they do.
Megan Leavey is 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. Over the course of their service, Megan and Farco who played Rex, completed more than 100 missions until an IED explosion injures them, putting their fate in jeopardy.
Read more about this hero and K9 dogs at http://www.bleeckerstreetmedia.com/meganleavey