Seven years after she left the small screen, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is back in a full length movie to wrap up loose ends left when the cult series was cancelled.
I was not one of the fans of the original show – “Marshmallows” I believe they’re called – and literally had no idea what it was even about before doing some quick research ahead of screening the film. For those in the dark as much as I, Veronica Mars is a girl in high school, and then college, who lives in the small town of Neptune, CA. When not being a student, she’s a modern day Nancy Drew, gumshoeing around town with her friends, getting into trouble and solving mysteries. It seems like a show I would have liked.
Following the series’ cancellation, creator Rob Thomas wrote a film script but couldn’t get the green light. Enter Kickstarter, some years later. Putting the call out there, they broke numerous records with 91,585 donors raising a total of $5,702,153 to finance this film. With that show of support it got the green light for moderate release.
No longer in Neptune, Veronica is stellar law student in NYC, putting the past behind her, but the past just can’t quit her. When her old boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring) is accused of murder (for the second time according to Wikipedia – what bad luck!) Veronica is quickly drawn back into her old life. What I can only assume is basically the entire cast from the series shows up in one big reunion – it’s just like old times.
The plot feels like a detective show, which is a good thing – too often film versions of television programs change up the format so much that the only thing that feels the same is the cast of characters. I can’t say for certain that the film feels like the series, but it feels exactly as I imagine the series would be like as clue after clue is tracked down in an ever expanding whodunit splattered with witty banter and dramatic turns of event at every corner. It’s actually quite fun.
If the audience at my screening is any indication, fans of the show will go nuts for this one. There are obviously plenty of Easter eggs and references throughout judging by the crowd’s reaction, even if I didn’t get what the big deal was about a certain character getting a job at a computer company, or someone else saying a certain line. This obviously a movie made for – and to an extent, by – the fans, which is great. There’s no reason it should be anything else. Luckily, the quality of the material and the characters is good enough that even an uninitiated person like myself can enjoy it as a standalone detective thriller. While some of the film had me feeling left out, it wasn’t too big of an issue and I can certainly see why the show has the following it does.
Lots of characters’ storylines are wrapped up, and the ending feels rather satisfying. Despite only being introduced to the characters 107 minutes prior, I actually cared what happened to most of them, which is great. It’s a solid sleuthing tale best enjoyed by fans of the show, but don’t let that scare you away if you’re simply a fan of the genre – it might just convince you to add the series to your Netflix queue.
Mrs. Hamster says:
“It was like one big inside joke that I didn’t get.”
My rating: Three out of five hats
Veronica Mars snoops into 291 theaters as well as VOD March 14