Author’s Note: I have been a fan of the TV series Veronica Mars since it first aired on Australian television. As a diehard fan (putting it lightly) I was beyond devastated when the show was cancelled and there didn’t seem to be any hope of any continuation. Once the film was announced and the Kickstarter campaign a roaring success I have been eagar with anticipation to see this film. I aimed to keep my expectations in check and to judge the film on its own merits as well as how it fits into with the show. Because I can’t review this without discussing the show, this review will naturally contain spoilers for all three seasons of the TV show and the film.
It has now been 10 years since VERONICA MARS the TV series started, it proved to be with its first few episodes one of the best things on TV at the time, yet here in Australia people didn’t seem to watch. The show unfortunately did struggle with ratings for its three season run and was cancelled, as is the case with some of the best TV shows. The fanbase and audience who watched it while it was on turned others on to it and since being off the air the show has gained so many more fans. A film has been talked about since the show ended, and now after all these years it has finally happened. The expectations for this film are insane, fans have waited so long and it has gained so many more fans since the film got funded through Kickstarter, so did this live up to the hype and deliver the goods that fans desperately needed? In one word …. YES!
Picking up several years after the TV show left off, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) has long since left the town of Neptune behind her. She is on her way to becoming a lawyer with job opportunities at her door, she’s in a relationship again with college boyfriend Piz (Chris Lowell) but this gets thrown into chaos as Veronica hears about her old love Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) has been accused of murder and he asks her for help. Veronica believing in his innocents decides to head over to Neptune and see Logan, the timing couldn’t be better since the High School Reunion just happens to be on at the same time. Veronica catches up with her best buddies Wallace (Percy Daggs III) and Mac (Tina Majorino), and the deeper she looks into Logan’s case, she realises she has been pulled right back in.
Seeing where Veronica has ended up was surprising to me, they toyed with the idea of her going to the FBI (it was the pitch for Season 4), but at the same time it kind of made sense that she left Neptune behind and went to law school. Veronica herself though hasn’t changed where it counts, she is still the sassy and charismatic woman that we love and always out to help those who need it. When Logan contacts her, there is definitely a sense of his innocence and a sense that Veronica really doesn’t want to let go of her old life. The woman has always had her flaws and here I think those flaws really reveal themselves, she isn’t perfect but that is part of her charm, she makes mistakes like we all do. The reunion of Veronica and Logan was what I wanted it to be, the love between them was still there and the natural chemistry between the actors was still burning hot. And yes I have always been ‘Team Logan’ so their scenes made me extremely happy.
I enjoyed the storyline with what brings her back to Neptune, of course it would be Logan. Despite how much she fights it, she does belong there. Her father (Enrico Colantoni) as much as he loves having her there, knows that Neptune is a mess and he doesn’t want her to stay there, he wants what’s best for her as he always has. The father/daughter relationship is the heart of the show and the scenes they get here are magical as always, it is hard to believe they aren’t actually father and daughter (that is how well it works). It is fun to revisit these relationships and see how they are still the same but also different, and this was a big part of why we wanted the film. Feeling so close to these characters we just need to know what happened to them, Keith seems to be well, Wallace is now a High School Coach (how perfect), Mac is now working at Kane Software and Dick (Ryan Hansen) is still alive (shocking I know), Piz is in New York with Veronica and on the radio, we also get to see that Logan has changed his life and is a Navy man, I can’t forget Weevil (Francis Capra) the one who has changed the most – he’s a husband and father). There are also returns from Gia (Krysten Ritter) and of course Vinnie Van Lowe (Ken Marino), it is a joy to see just about everything and what they are up to. Oh yes and incase you were wondering, I loved where Leo (Max Greenfield) ended up and his scene with Veronica was priceless.
As for whether this works as a film, it really does, it has a movie feel rather than a double episode of the TV show. It feels different but also kind of the same, it is paced really well and it manages to get in a lot during its running time. I actually wish it was longer, I just didn’t want it to end. It brought back everything that made the TV show special and it had such a great vibe to it, the passion that everyone had for this project really showed. In a way the script is both surprising and natural with where things go, I only had one issue with it and that was how it handled the character of Piz. Piz and Veronica are great together but it just wasn’t going to work but I felt we needed more in terms of their relationship, it ended far too quickly even though it was inevitable. I could have used more Vinnie, Weevil and Dick too, but alas maybe there are scenes we will get to see hidden out there? I also liked having the new Sheriff being the brother to Don Lamb, Dan Lamb (Jerry O’Connell playing his best a-hole) and that since we last saw that department it has gotten even more corrupt, another reason it draws Veronica back in.
The performances are all fantastic, everyone feels right at home in their roles, especially Kristen Bell who to me is Veronica Mars. It was evident everyone wanted to be back and it was a blast, I don’t think anyone made a wrong step, it was just perfect and oh so enjoyable. Rob Thomas poured his heart and soul into this and he has wrapped things up very nicely but by the end I just wanted more. Is it too much to ask for another Season or another film? I’ll even take some novels because I just don’t want to leave these characters or this world. As a fan I am wholly satisfied and as a film it is excellent. Time to watch the show over again!