“A long time ago, we used to be friends” – Veronica Mars Movie Review

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Among me and all of the marshmallows comes out one of the most anticipated movies from a TV show in the last year, Veronica Mars. I just came back for a free preview screening on Wednesday and this is my review.

The story takes place about 9-10 years after Veronica (Kristen Bell) left Neptune, California and high school. Unfortunately former classmate and ex-boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring) contacts her just as she is ready to take the bar and start her career in New York City as a lawyer. As fans of the series have come to know, Logan is in trouble again and accused of a murder of a former high school classmate Bonnie Deville (Andrea Estella) who is now a rockstar and his girlfriend. He claims he did not commit the murder even though he is a major suspect.

She at first is reluctant and then she ends up coming back to her old stomping grounds to help him.

Many characters of the series return including Wallace (Percy Daggs III) , Mac (Tina Majorino), Dick (Ryan Hanson), Weevil (Francis Capra) , and of course Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni). There are several more regulars who return from the series and some surprising cameos and well-known actors playing characters.

Fans of the show will laugh and glance at each other through the entire first part of the movie due to all the awesome references it makes to loyal followers. However one thing I noticed about this. Previous movies that are made from TV series, movie sequels or remakes tend to do this as a style. As much as it is great, it can also be a trap and can be used to the point where it is overdone often hiding a weak plot. Thankfully Director (also creator of the series) Rob Thomas does not fall into this trap. I loved the references and I thought they were done perfectly.

For someone who may have not ever seen an episode, you might not get all of the references. However Thomas does a great job of making this movie fresh and new on its own creating a balance that keeps the loyal viewers smiling and the new viewers intrigued. The movie does a great job of briefly summarizing major things that has happened to Veronica up to this point.

For those who might be reluctant to see the film cause they have not watched the series before, I think you can not get every reference but still be able to enjoy the movie as a stand alone film. While there is some comedy sprinkled throughout the film that the series is well-known for, the plot never really goes away from the murder that Logan is accused of. I especially loved the 10 year reunion scene. It trademarks the dry humor of why we all grew to love Veronica Mars and  shows how crazy Neptune High was. Here is a clip of it below:

And in typical Veronica Mars fashion, while solving the main crime as the main arc of the film (the show was famous for a style of writing called arcs), there are several smaller twists and turns that actually caught me by surprise. In fact I actually jumped a few times concerned for the characters as Thomas does a very good job of putting a plot turn when you least expect it. I won’t explain how it happens or how Veronica solves the entire mystery (fans of the show will thank me in advance for this).

There is also a subtle hint that maybe this might not be the last time we see Veronica Mars. This movie might get casual people who never saw the series to now view the TV series. There is an entire underlying theme about growing up and changing who you want to be because of your past. Unfortunately while you can change location, or jobs to move on from your past, you are always still the same person and can’t change who you are. You will know what I mean about this statement after watching the film. It makes sense cause as Veronica has grown up through the years since we last saw her, we have too.

From an idea that never got off the ground in 2008, the movie has been several long years in waiting. Thankfully Warner Bros. agreed to fully finance the movie if it got over a certain amount in the Kickstarter campaign. Well little did they know the loyal fan base set a record for fastest goal in about 10 hours. In fact over $2 million in 24 hours, a Kickstarter record!

This is also the first major company film that will not only be available in theaters Friday March 14, it will also be available On Demand. A tactic that is typical for many smaller independent movies.

Veronica Mars was a delight that all fans of the show will immediately say it was everything they hoped it would be. I went in with high expectations and to my surprised the movie exceeded those expectations. Kristen Bell once again showed that she has not lost a step since last doing this series in 2007. She was made for the character. It is nice to know that she is still humble enough to pay homage to the TV character that turned her into a movie star. As much as the fans wanted the movie to happen, she appears like she wanted to make the film as much as fans wanted to see it.

Don’t believe me? Here is a quote from Variety

Kristen Bell interested in Veronica Mars Sequel?

While the show was a diamond overlooked by so many people due to it being on UPN and later the CW, here is hoping that Veronica Mars gets a new audience and new following!

A quote at the end of the movie perfectly explained the fans of Veronica Mars. Yes I will admit I am addicted to this show and this movie is worth watching before the blockbuster summer movie season comes out. I highly recommend this film. Now excuse me while I return to re-watch my DVDs of the series.

Rating: *** out of 4

Trailer

Veronica Mars The Movie Site
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