I've opted to go spoiler-free in this review because ultimately, I'm
not writing to persuade existing fans. We're Marshmallows; we've
already planned out how to see this film. No, I'm talking to the
Kristen Bell fan who maybe saw an episode or two, or the complete
Veronica Mars virgin mulling it over.
The Kickstarter element of this film not only established that Warner was dead wrong about a lack of interest in this film, but it also added a further level of creative obligation for writer Rob Thomas. Fans paid for the film, and with that came certain expectations about its plot. Let's get this out of the way now: Thomas delivers the film that fans deserve, without skimping on the mystery element. Lingering questions from the series are answered (some blatantly, some subtly). Beloved characters are back, including the smaller roles that made the series memorable (Deputy Sacks; Leo D'Amato; Corny).
Basic plot round-up: 9 years after the events of the series, Veronica has moved to New York City and is finished law school, having run from Neptune after her first year of college. She's reunited with old boyfriend Piz and they're now shacked up. On the verge of her first major law job, Veronica learns that her high school classmate (now a singer) has been murdered and her ex, Logan is being blamed. Cue Logan calling Veronica, as so many have over the years. What begins as a friendly "weed out the bad lawyers" favor quickly becomes a mystery Veronica simply can't turn away from -- one that takes her all the way back to those high school years she's wanted to forget. Present clashes hard with past as Veronica tries to exonerate Logan while wrestling with the woman she's become versus the woman she once was.
One of the strong points of the film is dialogue. Characters feel true to themselves. The quips and banter that defined the Keith-Veronica dynamic are in full effect. The film is peppered with in-jokes and self-referential giggles that flow in conversation and don't confuse those not in the know (mentions of Kickstarter and the FBI earned particularly loud chuckles in the theatre). The dialogue of Veronica Mars was always one of its highlights, and it was a happy homecoming.
As to the mystery of the film, it's more layered than a standard episode without becoming so tangled as to be deterring for a new viewer with no background knowledge of the show. For those who did see the series, I liken it to the complexity of the Dean O'Dell case, streamlined due to the lack of "case of the week" action getting in the way. Although, don't be fooled: the major mystery isn't the only action the Mars family sees in the film. That said, if you're used to Thomas' style, you will probably spot the evildoer fairly readily if you're actively looking for clues along the way, but the final reveal of the motive will still be a surprise. For fans of the series, it's the little details that make the mystery particularly special.
Cameos are used to hilarious effect. My favourite was Dax Shepard, although several stood out along the way.
For newcomers to the world of Neptune, the film is a great way to dive in and savour the seedy, noir world. For those beaming with Pirate Pride, it's a worthy successor to the series and a real reunion. My only gripe is insufficient time with Wallace, Mac and Weevil, but I do understand that budget played a role in that and firmly blame Warner for it.
A long time ago, we used to be friends... and the cast has brought it on.
(Word to the wise: there are three very good reasons to stick it out through the entire credits, especially if you are a fellow Backer.)
Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Action / Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller
Former teenage private eye and now an aspiring New York City lawyer, Veronica Mars gets one phone call from ex-boyfriend Logan Echolls and she gets pulled right back into the seedy underbelly of Neptune, California. Logan's pop star girlfriend, Bonnie DeVille, has been murdered and he needs Veronica's help to clear his name. DeVille is a fellow Neptune High alum, and her murder and Veronica's return to Neptune coincide with their 10-year high school reunion. Veronica is face to face with old friends and foes alike and finds it's much harder to leave home a second time.
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April 24, 2014 at 03:23 PM