Every fan of a cult hit wishes for their favorite show to get the proper send-off, and Veronica Mars: The Movie doesn’t just give Veronica one more case, but presents an argument for why it should be renewed like Family Guy was.
Review (with Spoilers)
In September it will be a decade since Veronica Mars first started, on the now defunct UPN network. And being that is has been that long, a sense of nostalgia can easily come over you. But while UPN, and many of its programming, are now just fondly remembered by fans with no hopes to see reunions, Veronica Mars, through Kickstarter, has found its way back to life with nearly everyone returning, despite a good portion of them moving on to bigger careers. Either way, though, I must admit I think having a marathon would have helped me remember all the cameos and characters but, as a fan who remembers just enough, a part of me by the end of the movie was just glad for some type of closure.
Characters & Story
Since graduating High School, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) has gotten a degree in Psychology and now is in the pursuit of becoming a lawyer. However, when old flame Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) comes a calling, Veronica answers. This is despite a job offer from a law firm and her boyfriend Piz (Chris Lowell) not being the most psyched about his girlfriend running to the aide of her ex. But, like so many of the women whose programming I watch, there is a certain kind of addiction they have, and it seems one man, in particular, is always the one who can give them that fix.
But, perhaps it isn’t just Logan’s call but the mundane life Veronica has built since high school. No more mysteries, or any real murders to solve. Just boring old Piz and none of the Neptune type of scandals. So, with Logan being accused of murdering Carrie Bishop (Andrea Estella, though Wikipedia notes originally this was Leighton Meester), seems like seeing her dad and friends was just an excuse to try to get one last taste before settling for normalcy.
The greatest strength of this movie is nostalgia. You can genuinely see it is a labor of love in a multitude of ways: Be it most of the main cast returning; quick cameos from people who have gone on to be stars in their own right; or just the writing which keeps with the foundation of the Veronica Mars universe, but takes it up a notch in respect to this being a movie. Either way, you slice it, everyone has this enthusiasm which shows that despite this show being cancelled a couple of years ago, it is like they never stopped working together.
But, something I loved the most though was the story. As fans of the show know, there was talk about the would-be 4th season and the movie addresses that, and sprinkled all throughout is little nods to old fans of the original series. At the same, the movie doesn’t feel like it would alienate a newcomer. The film starts off with a basic overview and then jumps right into the story. Of which, I really think might feel to fans of the series like an almost sped up season. For, while the mystery may not be the strongest for those who don’t remember the original, for those who reacquainted themselves with the series before watching, I don’t know if this could have been any better.
Now, as someone who remembers the basics, but wouldn’t dare call themselves a “Marshmallow,” I must admit for a lot of people I wasn’t sure if they were new or returning characters. Add onto that, the main mystery, and perhaps the movie in general, really relies on you remembering who these people are to give the story more oomph. But, if you are like me and don’t remember anyone outside Veronica, Keith, Wallace, Weevil, Mac, Logan and Dick, once the mystery starts going and characters are presented, you can feel like the mystery is sort of weak and I think outsiders may even wonder what was the hype? For, really, as noted in the Praise, this does feel like a sped up season which overall feels like a rushed kiss goodbye as everyone goes back to the productions they are working on now.
Overall: Worth Seeing
Would I call this the perfect follow-up to a cult classic? Well, no. But, at the same time, considering the various schedules of the actors, and the fact that this movie was primarily fan funded, you have to give the movie a break to a point. For, at its heart, you can see it was made for the fans. And while this does come at a sacrifice for those unfamiliar with the show, or don’t remember some details, it does remind you why you liked this show in the first place, and I think is good enough to inspire you to watch the series to fully understand what went on back when Veronica was in High School.
Things To Note
Being someone who watches a lot of ABC Family, it sort of makes you wish their “Who Did It” teen mysteries would take a page out of Veronica Mars’ book and learn something.