May 22, 2007. This was a day “Veronica Mars” fans met with dread as the adventures of their favorite teenage private eye came to an end. Fast-forward seven years, and Veronica’s [Kristen Bell] journey continues thanks to the efforts of 91,585 Kickstarter backers. The backers combined donations totaled $5,702,153, allowing writer/director Rob Thomas and Warner Bros. to finally continue the adventures that were left hanging from the television series which had a small, but loyal, audience for two seasons on UPN and one season on The CW.
The result was a nostalgic trip making fans beg to return to “Mars” once again.
Set nine years after the conclusion of the TV series, Veronica has given up the detective life and is being interviewed for jobs at New York City law firms. She left her hometown of Neptune, Ca. behind and is now dating the good boy from the show’s third season, Piz [Chris Lowell].
Veronica’s “happiness” doesn’t last long as she is soon called by her ex-boyfriend, Logan [Jason Dohring], for help in clearing his name in the murder investigation of his pop star girlfriend, Bonnie DeVille [Andrea Estrella], who went by the name of Carrie Bishop when she was Veronica’s classmate in the series. Veronica, who can never give up on the adrenaline, leaves for Neptune and takes on the case.
The film’s mystery does not do much to keep viewers interested as the story layers plot twists with the return of several key characters from the show, including Wallace [Percy Daggs III], Mac [Tina Majorino], Weevil [Francis Capra], Dick [Ryan Hansen], Gia [Krysten Ritter] and Veronica’s father, Keith [Enrico Colantoni].
While these reunions are exciting, the payoff of the actual mystery did not have the same effect as figuring out Aaron Echolls killed Lilly Kane in season one or when learning Cassidy “Beaver” Casablancas caused several deaths in a school bus crash in season two of the series. The film has a thrilling chase scene toward the end but it was too brief and didn’t give you the impression that Veronica was in danger like some of the show’s more memorable episodes did.
One thing the film carries from the series and accomplishes remarkably well is illustrating the class systems of the rich and the poor. The film features a corrupt police department run by Sheriff Dan Lamb [Jerry O’Connell], who is way worse than his younger brother Don, who was killed off in the final season of the TV series. Evidence is planted by the police to get an arrest and police brutality is briefly touched on to show the all-too-real concept that the rich will always get what they want and the poor will always have to fight back. While it was a successful idea, it does little to attract new audiences.
But, let’s face it: while the series had its share of relatable social class issues and mysteries that kept fans guessing, it’s doubtful those same fans paid to see these stories. No. They wanted to see their favorite characters reunite and exchange their trademark snarky comments and pop culture references. They wanted to see Veronica finally punch her enemy Madison Sinclair [Amanda Noret] in the face at the Neptune High School 10-year reunion. And the movie delivered all of that for the fans.
There is not a single moment where a fan is left unsatisfied with references and Easter eggs littered throughout the movie’s 110 minutes. No one but a fan would be able to appreciate Veronica giving her old friend Leo [Max Greenfield] a pizza or the street band performing an acoustic version of the Dandy Warhols’s “We Used To Be Friends.” The deaths of two major characters will also leave fans with lumps in their throats.
While new audiences may not care about this film as a stand-alone feature, fans will happily embark on this fun high school reunion with old friends. Several open-ended storylines allow the possibility of a sequel and fans will not give up hope for it just as they haven’t done so for the past seven years.
Some people call us Marshmallows.
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