Megan Leavey is a biopic drama directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite. Megan (Kate Mara) deciding life was just too much, enrolls into the Marine Corps. Her continued lack of self-worth gets her into trouble and as punishment is given cleaning duty for the kennels of the military dogs. It’s here that Leavey meets Rex. The other dog handlers misuse Rex as they haven’t found a way to work with his aggressive nature. Leavey’s outcast nature, compels her to know more about Rex as she tries to become his next handler. The story is about their bond. Over the course of their service together, they complete more than 100 missions.
Given the title’s name, one would think the movie was about Leavey. It’s in fact more about the bond between Rex and Leavey. The pacing feels off slowly starting off as civilian Leavey then jumping through quick training and Leavey is instantly PFC Leavey. The story slows in the middle and feels rushed at the end. The movie wants to be two movies, one about a person and the other about a bond with a military dog. The film opts to try and tell both giving you a bit into Leavey’s personal life, but its not enough. This led to a short amount of scene time with Rex which, could have been better spent demonstrating their impressive service together. The rest of the supporting cast was great with what they were given. Kate Mara didn’t sell me on her handling Rex. I have zero experience with military dogs outside of watching Live PD. Yet, I’ve seen enough that I wasn’t buying it. The film’s brief action scenes aren’t all that great. The Hollywood explosions were out of character as the rest of the film is attempting to be grounded in reality.
I enjoyed Megan Leavey. I’m a sucker for biopics and dogs. Double whammy. Aside from the slightly above average acting, anaemic script and inconsistent pacing, the story about Leavey and Rex is still entertaining to watch.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 1 hr 56 min
Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Screenplay: Pamela Gray, Annie Mumolo and Tim Lovestedt
Cast: Kate Mara, Edie Falco, Common, Ramón Rodríguez and Tom Felton
Producers: Mickey Liddell, Jennifer Monroe and Pete Shilaimon
Music: Mark Isham
Cinematography: Lorenzo Senatore