MEGAN LEAVEY Review by Lisa Johnson Mandell
As we all get caught up in the feverish frenzy of fabulous female superheroes, it’s also nice to take a beat and focus on some real life superheroes whose everyday super powers are based on their ability to overcome their human — or their canine — frailties.
Such is the case with a small film opening this weekend called Megan Leavey. From the title, you wouldn’t surmise it’s based on the true story of a detached young marine corporal (Kate Mara) who bonds with a military combat dog with issues of his own, to save countless lives during their deployment in Iraq.
But now you know, and you also know to bring tissues. And don’t waste your time applying vast amounts of mascara, if you wear any at all. Without giving away any spoilers, I’ll tell you that the plot seldom goes in the direction you think it might, which is difficult to achieve when you’re working from a true life story.
Megan Leavey is poignantly directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Blackfish) from a screenplay by Pamela Gray, Annie Mumolo and Tim Lovestedt. Cowperthwaite (in the vein of Kathryn Bigelow) proves that females add a much needed emotional element to films about war. The emphasis is not on blood, guts and mayhem, but on collateral damage to the heart and mind.
It’s not a grand film full of superstars and special effects, but a smaller, quieter film that’s a welcome break from all the current must-see summer blockbusters. Those who are intimately familiar with dog training and military life can forgive the cinematic license that’s been taken, and those unfamiliar won’t notice or care.
The bottom line is that Megan Leavey is a riveting, inspiring and heart wrenching story, a fitting tribute to our female and four-legged military superheroes.
1 Hour 56 Minutes
Get times and tickets at Fandango.com
MEGAN LEAVEY Review — A Poignant Four-Legged Super Hero Movie