This movie is based on a true story. Megan Leavey is a teenager without direction, without friends, without hope. She knows she has to find a way out, but thus far, hasn’t been able to find it. One day, she passes a Marine Recruiting Office and decides to join the U.S. Marines. After basic training, she gets into a little trouble and is assigned to the Working Dog Unit to clean kennels for a week. The idea of handling a dog interests her and she pursues an assignment there. She gets her wish and is assigned the toughest dog in the kennel, Rex.
Kate Mara does an excellent job portraying Megan Leavey. I was touched by her performance because I identified with Megan’s life. I, too, was a directless teenager who found her purpose in life through the military; I was in the Navy. The supporting cast was strong and I understand most of the crew was female, not common in the film industry.
I would like to point out that entry into the Armed Services is more complicated than the movie implied. There are certain qualifications to meet and not everyone is accepted. Each applicant is tested mentally and physically and background checks are conducted.
I do think dog lovers will like this movie. I have great respect for the military working dogs and think we should treat them as the warriors they are. They’ve saved countless lives. This movie received virtually no publicity and I only found it looking through the schedule and reading the preview. I’d like to see this one rise to the top of the box office charts. It’s really good.