22
Mar
14

Veronica Mars: The Movie

A long time ago, we used to be friends.

If you’ve never seen the TV show Veronica Mars, then don’t make the movie your introduction. You won’t get it. Sure, you’ll be able to follow the story, but you’ll miss the inside jokes and you won’t appreciate the cameos from the various cast members. If you have seen Veronica Mars and are a fan, then chances are you’ve already seen the movie. If you’ve never seen the show, it’s about a teenage girl who moonlights as a private detective. She’s like the high school version of Philip Marlowe. And as ridiculous as the concept seemed, it somehow worked.
Mrs. Brik is a die-hard Veronica Mars fan. She used my hard-earned money to help fund the Kickstarter to get the movie made. I’m sure you know that story, how this is the largest fan-funded movie of all time. Veronica Mars fans are crazy and love them some Kristin Bell. They would jump at any chance to revisit the show.
The series had no sense of closure after it was unceremoniously cancelled in 2007 in favor of a Pussycat Dolls reality show. Great move, CW, way to go, how are the Pussycat Dolls doing these days? The movie was made not just to see our favorite characters again, but to provide a more appropriate conclusion to the series. So, how did it turn out?

Keith gives Veronica some fatherly snark — err — advice, I meant advice.

Fans of the TV show will absolutely love the movie. It’s got it all: a new case for Veronica to solve, Logan brooding, Dick having a million one-liners, Keith being fatherly and snarky, and an endless parade of returning cast members. Many of them only show up for a line here or there, but just about everyone returned. From that aspect alone, getting to relive the nostalgia of the show, the movie delivered in spades.
The case is yet another high-profile murder (I guess it’s not safe to be a rich person in Neptune, huh?), Logan is the prime suspect, and only Veronica believes he is innocent. Yeah, we’ve been to that well before, but going back one more time doesn’t hurt. Veronica investigates the case using her old bag of tricks like fake IDs, impersonating other people, and logging hours of surveillance. She even gets Wallace to retrieve a student dossier from Neptune High School, just like she always did. The case has a few twists here and there to keep the audience engaged. As far as murder-mysteries go, it isn’t Earth-shattering. They don’t do anything that hasn’t been done before. But the case is good enough to be believable and entertaining at the same time.
The only thing that doesn’t work is a sort of half-baked plot line in which the Neptune Sheriff’s department is corrupt and planting evidence on various people including Weevil. It shows up halfway through the running time and it isn’t concluded. This story thread should have been introduced sooner, and it should have intersected with the murder-mystery to create a more riveting story. It feels almost as if this was set up to be the main thrust of a sequel film. They shouldn’t bother with that. We don’t need them to keep making more movies, with each one of diminishing quality (as is usually the case in sequels).

And now a little something for the ladies.

With this movie, the case really isn’t important. Checking off a list of things fans want to see is the key. Veronica acts snarky, Veronica visits her old pals, Veronica and Keith hang out, Veronica sees everyone she hates in her high school reunion, etc etc. There are tons of lines meant to please the audience like Logan rehashing his “We’re meant to be together, Veronica” speech. There are plenty of Easter Eggs too, such as lines about Kickstarter, a line about the Pussycat Dolls, and even a line about the failed Veronica Mars Season 4 pilot in which she would have joined the FBI. It’s too bad they never made that, because Walton Goggins (Boyd of Justified) was cast as her boss. That would have been great. Hey how about this, a Veronica Mars/Justified crossover? No, on second that, scratch that.
The Veronica Mars movie is not something I would recommend to a non-Veronica Mars fan. They won’t get it. The die-hard fans, though, will. That much was clear while sitting in the theater as the room erupted with laughter or squealed in delight as various characters popped up in the cavalcade of cameos. The purpose of the movie was to provide an appropriate conclusion to the series. In terms of that, it did its job exceedingly well. It’s too bad we can’t get more of these kinds of things off the ground (cough Twin Peaks cough). The Veronica Mars movie was a love letter to fans of the show, and it served as a very satisfying finale.
Verdict: Good

Veronica Mars’ best character, Dick Casablancas.

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5 Responses to “Veronica Mars: The Movie”


  1. 1 lokifire
    March 25, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    So you live in a place where there’s no snow and you get the Veronica Mars movie? When are you and Mrs. Brik letting me come crash at your place for a few months??


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