“Megan Leavey” is based on a true story, and the movie is dramatically portrayed with smooth direction and solid acting from Kate Mara as Megan. The story unfolds nicely with Megan Leavey becoming a Marine and winning over the devotion of her German shepherd, Rex, as she handles him in searching for explosives. It is not an instant love affair. He bites her in the rear when she first works with him, but they bond after Rex saves her life when she falls out of a truck, and she becomes determined to adopt him after he is retired. They go through a lot in Iraq, including surviving an exploding bomb nearby. They share a few light moments too, such as one scene where Rex starts chewing up a bed, and Megan says, “You had to come all the way to Iraq to find your inner puppy?” But it won’t be easy to adopt him and there are a lot of hurdles to clear. One crotchety veterinarian has listed Rex as “unadoptable.” Her dad reminds her at one point, “You are a fighter, Megan. So fight.” And fight she does. She goes to a senator for help, lines up thousands of signatures in a petition, gets the story in the newspaper, and even goes on TV.
Anyone who has loved or been devoted to a pet will appreciate this movie, as will anyone who appreciates what our servicemen and women have done for us in the line of duty. Unfortunately, some strong language and the sex content prevents us from awarding the movie our Dove Family-Approved Seal, but the story is true; it contains a bit of romance for the romantic at heart, war action—as well as a dog that is easy to like. The movie makes the audience wonder, “What would I do and how far would I go for the one that saved my life?” Be warned—it contains an emotional wallop and will move some viewers to tears. Just ask my wife.