An unlikely mutt that crossbreeds the cuteness of “Must Love Dogs” with the suspense of “The Hurt Locker." - From IndieWire
But the film, much like its eponymous heroine, is utterly lost when it comes to making sense of civilian life.
Beginning with an expository voiceover that never returns — always, always a sign of an bumpy narrative — “Megan Leavey” introduces its namesake (a compellingly naturalistic Kate Mara) as she slumps along a bus stop near her hometown in upstate New York.
Rex is the most aggressive animal the program has ever had, and Megan is scared to death of the massive hound (who looks more bear than dog), but his bite brings out her bark, and it isn’t long before the two of them are unearthing insurgent ordnances in the Middle East.
But if the script (credited to Pamela Gray, Annie Mumolo, and Tim Lovestedt) never loses its emotional integrity, its structural integrity is another story.
She misses her dog, but the film has little sense of how to dramatize that — it’s a bold, character-driven decision to downplay a Purple Heart to this extent, but had the years that comprise the story’s second half been more effectively compressed (the whole third act could fit into a montage), then we could have spent more time with Megan and Rex on their missions, and the ending would have been far more powerful as a result.