Veronica Mars Review: Plenty of LoVe for the Fans

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Whether you’re one of the thousands of Kickstarter backers who helped finance the film, or more of a casual viewer of the series, you’ll likely be entertained by this snappy, compelling whodunit.

A long time ago we used to be friends, as the theme song goes. A long time ago, 2007 to be exact, a fervent little show about a teen detective called Veronica Mars was unjustly yanked from network TV. Seven years, a growing cult fanbase, and a few million dollars in crowdsourcing funds later, and the mystery has revived itself on the big screen. Co-written and directed by series creator Rob Thomas, the film makes it seem like no time has passed since Veronica’s absence from Neptune, California. Plenty has changed, but the story and the characters easily slide back into their old grooves.

In the world of the film, ten years have passed since the ending of the series. Veronica (Kristen Bell) is now a Stanford Law graduate, interviewing at a top-tier law firm in New York City. She’s in a comfortable relationship with Piz (Chris Lowell), and life couldn’t be peachier. So naturally, it all has to come crashing down.

This arrives in the form of Veronica’s former lover Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), who’s being accused of murdering his pop star girlfriend. Veronica returns to Neptune to solve the case at a time that happens to coincide with her high school reunion. This means that she gets to run into a slew of familiar faces like Ryan Hansen’s Dick Casablancas, Kristen Ritter’s Gia Goodman, and of course, her best buds Wallace and Mac (Percy Dags III and Tina Majorino respectively).

As Veronica slips back into her old sleuthing habits, she also gets pulled back into Neptune’s corrupt class warfare. For anyone familiar with the series, it’s a true delight to watch Veronica trade witty banter with her PI father (Enrico Colantoni) and get mixed up in a mess with the local biker gang. As Veronica, Bell is as mesmerizing as ever. She easily falls back into place, delivering the perfect mix of acerbic one-liners and genuine pathos. Reports stating that the actress has wanted to make this movie since the series ended are easy to believe. This is a role she was made for.

The film stumbles, however, when trying to recruit new fans. If you’ve never seen an episode of the original series, you’ll likely get lost amidst the slick dialogue and romantic tension. Thomas does his best to integrate newbies into the fold with a quick opening summary of the characters, but it’s just not enough to represent three full seasons of television. The core character development has already been done, and without prior knowledge it can be easy to get confused.

Aside from the mystery, the other main focus rests on the Logan-Veronica romance, or LoVe, as fans affectionately refer to it. Thomas has crafted an endearing tale–one that digs into the characters’ complex pasts–but the ending feels a little too abrupt. It’s hard to blame him, considering he’s used to writing season-long arcs on TV. Still, I would have liked to see Logan and Veronica’s relationship explored in-depth a little more.

Nevertheless, this is a movie for the fans. After all, it was payed for by them. The culmination of both the romantic drama and the mystery will more than satisfy, as will the off-the-cuff references to the series. There’s also plenty of celebrity cameos to enjoy, ranging from Jamie Lee Curtis and Jerry O’Connell to some that are too good to spoil here. Despite the film’s flaws in adjusting itself from the small to the big screen, it’s really great to see Veronica back in action.

So, if you’re one of the many “Marshmallows” out there who’s been counting down the days until the film’s release, the wait is over. Rob Thomas and Co. have served up another juicy case that’ll probably leave you hungry for more. If, on the other hand, you don’t even know who Veronica Mars is, perhaps a binge-watching session is in order. I have a feeling you’ll be feeling the LoVe soon enough.¬†Grade: B+


By Mike Papirmeister

One Response to Veronica Mars Review: Plenty of LoVe for the Fans

  1. Sherry Ava says:

    I am a fan from way back but I missed a lot of the last season so it took a while for me to figure out who some of the characters with respect to their past roles. However, I was entertained and tickled about some of the characters who I watch now that were also in the original series, like a male lead from New Girl, another from Being Human, This American Life and even a hysterical cameo by Kirsten Bell’s real-life husband. This was a fun mystery to watch. Pure entertainment.

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