This biopic about a soldier and her bomb-sniffing dog stars Kate Mara (The Martian) as the title character.
Megan Leavey is a lost soul with no life direction so she joins the Marines. That, too, is disastrous until she connects with the canine program. There she meets Rex who’s a difficult dog. The two troubled characters connect and it changes the direction of her life — and his — forever.
Director Gabriela Cowperthwaite (2013 Documentary Blackfish) does her first feature movie. She and writers — including Bridesmaid’s Annie Mumolo — do a lousy job of helping you figure out what happened when.
The first half of the film is easy but after Leavey leaves the military, you lose a sense of time and the story, and that of her struggle to keep Rex. All of it comes in chunks.
It’s a minor complaint about a major flaw. I ended up not caring and you won’t care either. The film is a heartwarming dog movie and offers enough warm fuzzies to make it palatable. By the way, if you’re prone to getting teary-eyed at dog flicks, this is a two-hanky film.
Movie name: ‘Megan Leavey’
Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Stars: Kate Mara, Common, Tom Felton, Bradley Whitford, Edie Falco, Will Patton, Ramon Rodriquez
Mr. Movie rating: 3 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, violence. It’s playing at the AMC Kennewick 12, the Fairchild Cinemas Pasco and Queensgate 12s and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.