Based on the titular real life Wonder Woman who, together with her bomb-sniffing military dog, Rex, formed their own “hurt kennel” of sorts and helped save over 100 lives during their deployment in Iraq. The film unfolds almost religiously from Leavey’s (Kate Mara) point of view. Perfectly cast, the actress not only looks the part, she all but disappears inside the character. This is Gabriella Cowperthwaite’s second feature, the first since her scathing Blackfish, put a dent in local tourism. Can a vicious combat dog adjust to civilian life as a pet? (It’s sort of like asking if a killer whale can live their life as a captive circus clown.) That’s the question Leavey spends the last third of the picture trying to answer in her quest to give a fellow war hero a proper home. For a change the terms heartfelt and inspirational genuinely apply. This one got to me on many levels none more than its ability to hold its own as a polished, damn fine little combat picture. SPOILER ALERT: The dog doesn't die. (2017) — Scott Marks
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