Veronica Mars (Film Review)

Veronica Mars (Film Review)

The largest Kickstarter campaign ever comes to fruition in the film version of the TV show that quickly became a cult classic during its three-year run on the air, the Veronica Mars movie leaves no disappointment for fans of the series.

Ten years after leaving Neptune, Veronica has left her private detective life behind her, and is on the verge of becoming a high end lawyer in New York. Her life has been a success, as we all knew that it would be. She has a degree in psychology, and is weeks away from taking the bar exam. She is interviewing with top firms in NYC, on the cusp of a great career.

Until the call comes in.

“Veronica? I need your help.”

marsDrawn back to Neptune to help out Logan Eckles, her ex-love, who is again facing a murder rap when his former girlfriend and pop singer is found dead in her bathtub (Carrie Bishop, from the original show, although she is no longer played by Leighton Meester, one of the few disappointments in the movie). Of course, Veronica begrudgingly accepts to help him out with finding a lawyer, which turns into a much longer stay than she had intended.

Veronica Mars has everything one could want in a YV series-turned feature film. This was, after all, mostly funded by the fans, who raised millions of dollars to see this made. That is a dedicated fan base.

All of our favorite characters are back, and Kristen Bell, as Veronica, is in her finest form. She is as sharp and witty as ever, now able to say some of the things that she couldn’t on TV (I always enjoy hearing TV characters swear, it is partially unnatural, and partially awesome, because we know it’s what they would have really said, anyways). Even ten years after the first season began, we still love Veronica. She is still the underdog, despite the success in her life. And she continues to fight for what she believes to be right, which is the part of her character that we probably always admired most, even if we didn’t realize it.

There are great nods to the fans, even mentioning the cancelled fourth season where Veronica was to be an intern at the FBI. In the opening minutes, she even calls herself a Marshmallow, the name Veronica Mars fans have adopted for themselves. These subtle nods are fantastic, as they are not punch-you-in-the-face obvious, and it would not detract from a person watching the film as their first exposure to the character. In fact, this film does a good job of being a somewhat stand-alone production, in that you could watch it with someone who was not familiar with the series, and they would easily be able to follow along and enjoy it.

As for the story, and the mystery, it is as solid as always. There are some twists, and it is a good murder mystery, as was nearly every episode of the show. There is no let down here. At an hour and 45 minutes long, it is basically watching two back-to-back episodes, with an entire murder plot crammed in. But it doesn’t feel to rushed. And for fans of the show, watching back-to-back episodes is something that we have all done. Probably more than once. Ok, maybe some of us have managed to watch an entire season in one sitting (that’s a lot of sitting, but it got done!).

Not many actresses really own their character in the way that Bell owns Veronica. She is her. And even though she continues to act, and hasn’t been pigeon-holed due to the success of this show, there will always be a part of Kristen that truly is in a part of this character. We want to see them as the same person, because she is so good as her. Veronica Mars is the girl with the smart answer to everything, but who can also be fiercely loyal and loving at the same time. She uses her sarcasm as a mask, something too many of us are able to identify with. She is the outcast who never should have been the outcast in the first place, but wears her letter with pride, and always manages to hold her head up high, not ashamed of who she is. She is a true television hero.

One of my favorite things about the film is that they did not deviate from the formula of the show. This is exactly what people wanted to see. And they got it. They did not try to go crazy just because there was some more money and a built-in audience. They knew how Veronica Mars worked, and they stuck with it.

As usual, Veronica narrates the film, as the did on the series. She compares her need to help, to be near Logan, near Neptune, as an addiction, something that she dealt with in her life with her mother, and the various issues that floated around the elites of Neptune. It is a clever under-current to the story, the tale of a girl who wants nothing more than to get away, and stay away, but can do nothing of the sort. Another layer to the story, that is great entertainment.

For any fan of Veronica Mars, this movie is an absolute must-see. For those who never watched the show, you can count on a pretty solid murder mystery with some good comebacks and wit.

Just as the show always was.

New Trailer: Veronica Mars

I am unabashedly a huge fan of Veronica Mars. A great, fun, smart, and intriguing TV show when it was on, I have definitely poured through the three seasons of the show more than once. It was one of the shows that ended at the right time, before he storylines were too stretched out or the characters became caricatures of themselves.

Veronica_mars_introAnd Veronica herself, played incredibly by Kristen Bell, is one of the great female TV characters of all time. Sure, seems like high praise, but she is really that good. She is witty and tough, but held a deep vulnerability that made her irresistible as a character. Because of being Veronica Mars, I will watch pretty much anything that Kristen Bell is in, and am a huge fan of hers (she is currently excellent on House of Lies).

The big news for Veronica Mars nerds was the impressive Kickstarter project, where fans donated enough money to raise a budget to make a movie of the show they so dearly loved. This will be the first big-name project to be done in this way, which makes the movie a true labour of love. Fans wanted it so badly that they actually paid to have it made. That is an impressive following.

There has been significant buzz about the movie, obviously, and now there is an official trailer out. The movie will debut in March, and the trailer looks…awesome.

All of the characters are back. Veronica has left the life of being a PI, and is now a lawyer, but she is pulled back to Neptune when her old flame Logan is accused of murder. The events are centered on a reunion at Neptune High, which is an awesome way to get everybody back together and have Veronica hash it out with all the people (good and bad) from her past.

The trailer has everything you could expect and hope for. It looks dark, it looks funny, Kristen Bell appears to be in fine form. And despite not having the backing money of a huge studio, it looks like a very high end production. No cheesy look to this film.

I will confidently say that this movie looks like an absolute winner, and even though I rarely go to the theater to see movies any more, I will definitely make an exception for VM. I am excited.

Here is another link to the trailer.

http://theveronicamarsmovie.com/