The Veronica Mars movie is unprecedented. It shouldn’t have happened. I had completely resigned myself to the fact that the last we would see of Veronica was her walking into the distance on that rainy California day. It stung that we’d never get to see what happened after that. It stung even worse that the series didn’t see resolution in almost every plot it left dangling. I don’t think it fully sank in that the series I loved so much has finally lived on until I saw that first frame of Kristen as Veronica. Naturally I had built this movie up a lot in my head, but I was also a little worried that it might disappoint the legion of devoted marshmallows who contributed to its creation. As far as I’m concerned, it absolutely did not. [This is a spoiler free review!]
I think everyone is familiar with the plot of the movie by now. Veronica, despite finding success as a lawyer in New York, returns Neptune CA to help Logan, whose pop star girlfriend Bonnie DeVille (someone we’ve actually met before and didn’t know it) is found murdered.
That Veronica would give up everything she worked for in those past 9 years, 9 years which included a transfer away from Hearst College to the university she always wanted to go to (Stanford), and return to the place that brought her so much drama, pain and heartbreak is a major issue for her father, Keith, who has been fighting the good fight that Veronica, as he believes it, managed to free herself from. I was pretty excited to see their father/daughter team back in action, and I got that tenfold. Whether it was in their banter which has retained every bit of charm that it had 7 years ago, or in their arguments over Veronica’s future.
One of Keith’s biggest problems is with Neptune High’s obligatory psychotic jackass, Logan. The Veronica/Logan love story was a part of the series that most fans were devoted to. Personally, I think it all got a bit too much during the show’s third season where their break-ups and make-ups tore attention away from everything else. I was really worried that the same would happen here, considering Rob was going to give the fans what they wanted. I was expecting a 107 minute ode to their tumultuous past, but thankfully that wasn’t the case.
Rob Thomas was clever with how he used past plots and stories and, most importantly, the characters we spent three seasons getting to know. Obviously Logan is a huge part of the movie, but unlike the show’s final season, he wasn’t the sole devotee of screen-time.
He was a massive part, to be sure, but the fact that Wallace, Mac, Dick, even Piz, got the attention they deserved is remarkable. Even the smaller characters, like Mr Clemons and habitual bitch Madison Sinclaire, got some love. Well, maybe not love in Madison’s case but you get the idea. We got to see everyone we wanted to see, and then some.
The movies mystery, a mystery that could very well have sat nicely into the series, also feels like it was custom made to please fans. It brings together familiar faces, and some new ones, with a few great twists along the way. My jaw dropped several times.
The shocks kept coming in the secondary plot. I know from reading a few early reviews that this was a source of discontent for many, who thought it was thrown in to fluff out the movie, but it definitely served a purpose (one I don’t want to say here for fear of ruining the movie for some of you), and it had too many squeal worthy moments to wish it gone.
This being Veronica Mars, there was always going to be some darkness and woe thrown in for good measure. How else can it claim its Noir tag? There were few times during this film I was on the verge of tears, and the death count isn’t something to joke about, but everything that happened was necessary and served the story incredibly well.
If there’s one negative about this movie it’s that it isn’t really a movie. It was the perfect continuation of the TV series that we loved. It doesn’t compromise its identity to entice new fans, or make it flashy to justify its cinematic release (which might be a side-effect of the small budget). It stayed true to the series, the characters, and most importantly to the fans who were the ones responsible for this movie getting made.
For non-fans it won't hold the same significance that it did for us devotees. If you are anyway interested I think it definitely has entertainment value, but I would seriously recommend seeing the series first, to appreciate every amazing reference and throw back but most importantly, to understand the history of everything that transpires here.
At the risk of making anyone reading this cringe into their keyboards/tablets/phones, I don’t think there are enough ways I can express my gratitude to Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell and everyone single person involved in making this film. You can literally feel the passion that they all had for bringing Veronica back to life again. It was all over the entire film. Whether or not Veronica Mars lives on (and its ending definitely suggests that it could), I got the film I wanted. The worst part of the show’s cancellation was the series not ending on the right note, and now it has.
Break a sigh of relief marshmallows, Veronica is back and she’s just as great as she ever was.
4.5 out of 5 marshmallows
For a more in-depth analysis of the events of the movie head over to my own blog. Start discussing the movie in the comments below, but if you've yet to see it watch out for spoilers! You have been warned!