Monday, March 17

Veronica Mars Review

Veronica Mars
Dir: Rob Thomas
Starring: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni, Percy Daggs III, Ryan Hansen, and Tina Majorino

It started with a video that appeared on a crowd funding website just under a year ago. The announcement proposed was that if they could raise enough money for a production an official “Veronica Mars” movie, with all the major cast and show creator involved, could be achieved. What creator Rob Thomas anticipated soon exceeded his expectations as the fandom of ninety-one thousand “Marshmallows” (a nickname for adoring fans of the show) contributed five million plus dollars to the project and set the world of crowd funding into a viable monetary alternative in the business of filmmaking. Rob Thomas not only made good on his promise of a film, less than a year after announcing, but also provides fans with something made solely for them and their love for the sleuthing Veronica.

Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) has moved on from the seedy surroundings of Neptune, California. She is leading a successful life in New York, on the verge of landing a job as a lawyer with a high profile company. However, a phone call from her ex-boyfriend Logan Echols (Jason Dohring) changes her plans as he has been accused of murder. Veronica, already turning down an invitation to her ten-year high school reunion, returns to Neptune to help Logan find an attorney. Things don’t seem quite right in Neptune or with Logan’s case, leading Veronica to encounter the past she wanted to leave behind.

Three seasons is all the television show was given but what it was able to accomplish in its short turn left an impression with fans. A wise cracking, Southern California looking girl, who works as a private investigator seeking revenge for the person who killed her best friend. It’s a combination of smart teenage melodrama and crafty crime noir. Rob Thomas doesn’t waste any time letting the audience know what they are getting into. Clearly within the first fifteen minutes of the film those unfamiliar with the narrative style and show pacing will be lost, though the fans will feel right at home. Thomas understands who the film is marketed for, layering inside jokes and nostalgic show material to merge throughout the course of the film. Whether the comfortable introduction of Veronica’s sidekicks Wallace (Percy Daggs III) and Mac (Tina Majorino) or the swoon inducing appearance of Logan, everything starts off with familiar tones and the identifying show charm. This trip down memory lane will eventually need to shift into a storyline, and in true “Veronica Mars” style this means a few twists and turns in the mystery. While the major arching plot involving Logan being wanted for murder works nicely in framing the narrative of the characters, some of the subplots are brushed aside while at other times certain scenes feel like an excuse for cameos. A scene with James Franco, playing himself, is forced and Veronica’s New York relationship with late third season character Piz (Chris Powell) is unconvincing. Thomas doesn’t spend a wealth of time on these faults but instead quickly treads over them and returns back to the characters that Mars’ fans admire most.

What is most notable about this film is the strength of the material that paved the way for it. Three seasons and Veronica Mars left an enduring mark. Whether Veronica’s motives for returning to Neptune, now that she has grown into the intellectual and independent woman we all knew she’d become, may not be completely reasonable, Thomas understands this character and makes it work into something fans will love and remember as the proper sendoff to their beloved show.

Monte’s Rating

4.00 out of 5.00

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