Friday, June 16, 2017

'Megan Leavey' Review (VIDEO)

I liked it.

It's not the biggest blockbuster you'll ever see, but I really like Kate Mara, so I made it a point to see this one. Plus, I rarely miss a war movie. I went to the early-bird budget matinee, so the theater was almost empty. I don't see the opening weekend numbers online, although at least the movie's not straight to DVD. It's heavy on the personal relationships, especially Corporal Leavey's relationship to her dog, Rex. It's a tear-jerker as well, but a true story.

It's worth a look, either way. Most refreshingly, the director eschewed any inclinations towards leftist antiwar anti-Americanism. Indeed, the conclusion's hella patriotic, but I'll leave it at that not to spoil things.

See also the Los Angeles Times, "Review: 'Megan Leavey' tells a tale of two war heroes: a woman Marine and her bomb-sniffing K-9":

It’s also a movie that doesn’t wear its issues on its stripes. Without feeling the need to brand itself either a woman-in-the-military movie or animal-activism yarn, [director Gabriela] Cowperthwaite quietly goes about humanizing everything so that both of these elements, which might get treated as hot-button topics elsewhere, gain a kind of understated momentum all their own. Sure, that gives it the slight tinge of a chummy, politics-free, armed-services recruitment video — especially when Common’s around to play the supportive sergeant always this-close from breaking into a smile. But the battle scenes are direct and tense, if not exactly original, and even when the screenplay tosses in a burgeoning flirtation with a fellow K-9er (the charming Ramon Rodriguez), “Megan Leavey” makes it feel like an extra color in a soldier’s story, not a predictable story beat for a heroine...