The Movie: 8/10
A soldier is a person, just like the rest of us, with personal obstacles to overcome to be the people they truly want to be. In the process they take on the huge responsibility of being a warrior and protector to everyone else. What happens when that person struggles with what they want in life, and along their military journey they find their calling, but it’s not what they expected? Megan Leavey was a young woman looking for something to do with her life. She happened to join the military and while in training found her affection for a dog trained for finding explosives on the front lines. They became partners and in the process of doing their duty saved many lives. The thing is, that’s not the big part of the story. You find along the way that Megan realizes this dog and his fellow K-9 soldiers deserve the same respect and after care that the human soldiers are entitled too.
This is more like the origin story of a woman who changed the way the military care for the animals who are brought into human conflicts they have no real choice about. It’s not packed with action or adventure. A lot of the scenes are character driven, conversations, Megan learning about herself, learning to cope with a life she’s so unsure about. The scenes when we do get action feel right and I wanted to see a glimpse of the action she and Max endured, the truth is though I was always ready to get back to learning more about them and about Megan and how she was moving along in her quest to figure her life out.
This movie is beautifully shot, with excellent music and the performances are all just right. It’s not a big loud bombastic war movie that needs to judge anyone from any direction. It’s all about the person, the individual who comes to the conclusion that she can do good in the world, in her own way.
- Never Give Up (3 Minutes) – A look at Megan and the story of the film. This is a missed opportunity as it does have a few lines with the real Megan Leavey but where is the full interview?
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 6/10
I understand the idea of the cover artwork. It’s a soldier and her K-9 partner and it’s very patriotic, it’s just a very TV movie type image and I think it lowers the expectations of what is an excellent film. I would have another image from this movie as a poster, but not this.
Audio & Video: 8/10
Megan Leavey arrives on Blu-ray with a 1080P transfer that does the source material proud. Fine detail is rich as military uniforms look crisp and detailed, fine facial detail is also good. If I had to nitpick there are a couple of instances of banding on some of the smoke-filled battle scenes. This is a crisp, great presentation from Universal.
The DTS-HD Master audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack delivers the perfect blend of action and dialog. Dialog carries most of the film but when the action does hot up explosions and gunfire are delivered with pinpoint accuracy. Dialog is very centered and easy to understand even during the loudest gunfight.
Overall Score 8/10