Meagan Leavey Review

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A true tale of heroism

Everyone loves a good true story.  This is particularly true if the movie brings to the forefront the story of an unknown hero.  You could call these underdog stories.  People loved Hacksaw Ridge, the story of a pacifist that saves lives during a battle, and Hidden Figures, the story of underappreciated black women who helped in the race to get to space. Meagan Leavey is another true underdog tale.  This time we really get an actual dog though.

Meagan Leavey is about Marine corporal, Meagan Leavey, and K-9 unit bomb sniffing dog, Rex.  Meagan is feeling down about her life and decides that joining the military can provide her with a purpose that she was lacking. Being that she is young, she still gets into trouble.  Her punishment is to clean the up after the K-9 unit.  This is where she meets the most aggressive of the K-9’s, Rex. Despite the aggressive of the dog, she decides she wants to become a K-9 handler.  After completing her requirements, Meagan finally gets assigned to Rex through sheer luck.

Once they are teamed together, Meagan and the dog start to form a bond together. They are looked at as a very competent team, as you must be in this dangerous line of business.  Of course, they get deployed to Iraq, where they save the day several times by locating all sorts of bombs.  One day, they get hit by a rogue bomb that injures them really bad.  Even though they are hurt,  they continue with the mission at hand. Eventually Meagan decides to give up the military as she has fulfilled her term. She wants to adopt Rex, who is also getting up there in terms of years.  The military won’t allow it since they deem Rex unfit for domestic life.  Meagan, at first feels heart broken, but decides she will do whatever it takes to make sure Rex doesn’t get euthanized as a lot of military K-9’s do at the end of their run. 

Let’s cut to the point here.  The subject matter of this movie is really touching.  It’s hard not to get moved here. Anything to do with an adorable animal being in danger can do that.  Also, Meagan seems like an unlikely person to become a part of the K-9 unit, and Rex seems like an unlikely dog, because of his aggressive nature, to be of value.  There is a lot of emotion here. This movie showcases what the people and animals at the forefront of the frontlines of war have to deal with.  One wrong move and lots of innocent people and soldiers are killed due to missing a bomb here or there.

The way the movie showcases this story works.  Kate Mara gets a lot of flak for being one dimensional, but her nature plays well as a no nonsense Marine corporal.  The dogs that play Rex also do a wonderful job.  Nothing about the dog seems unbelievable.  The pace of this movie also moves along briskly.  It doesn’t really linger on unnecessary moments too long, although we do get subplot that I feel could have been left out the movie.

Overall, this has been one of the better movies of the summer and possibly the year.  It’s a movie about some real heroes.  I thought, it would be sappy but I found myself fortunate to be able to see this story. Summer is all about movies featuring heroes, so it’s fitting that we have Meagan Leavey.  This is worth a watch.

Grade: B+

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