09th Mar2014

‘Veronica Mars’ Review [Spoiler Free]

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Chris Lowell, Ryan Hansen, Krysten Ritter, Percy Daggs III, Tina Majorino, Francis Capra, Ken Marino, Enrico Colantoni, Jerry O’Connell | Written and Directed by Rob Thomas

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[NOTE: Consider this a spoiler-free review, I’ve tried to keep this from going too in-depth as I truly feel that audiences should go into this movie-length Veronica Mars cold. The less you know about the plot the better IMO.]

Yet another TV series makes the transition to the movies, this time via the rather more independent route of Kickstarter, with Veronica Mars – a character who we last saw walking away in the rain on the finale of the series that (in my opinion) was cancelled way before its time.

Written and directed by series creator Rob Thomas, Veronica Mars sees the titular character on the eve of graduating law school, having put Neptune and her amateur sleuthing days behind her. While interviewing at high-end law firms, Veronica gets a call from her ex-boyfriend Logan (Dohring) who has been accused of murder. Veronica heads back to Neptune just to help Logan find an attorney, but when things don’t seem right with how Logan’s case is perceived and handled, Veronica finds herself being pulled back into a life she thought she had left behind…

Ten years after the series made its television debut the plucky teen detective is back, now older and wiser, yet still just as much of a smart-mouthed wise-cracker as she always has been. And despite the huge gap between series and movie it’s safe to say its feels like Veronica Mars and co. have never been away. The characters, and actors, seemingly having picked up just where they left off. It’s like welcoming back an old friend.

For fans of the show, this movie iteration of Veronica Mars is packed with references to the original series without ever making is seem like you have to have seen the show to enjoy the movie. Scenes such as that in which a busker plays the old theme tune won’t alienate those not aware of the show but is a subtle extra touch (amongst many – including THAT fan-favourite exchange between Veronica and Logan) for those die-hard fans who, like me, have been salivating over a movie ever since Rob Thomas and Kirsten Bell first posited the idea. The film is also packed with cameos – from familiar faces that graced the original series who have since gone on to bigger things, to celebrities who you’d NEVER expect to see in a Veronica Mars movie!

Despite the massive response from fans on Kickstarter, that proved there was a desire to see more adventures of the plucky P.I., there was still one burning question on everyone’s minds: Could creator Rob Thomas recapture the magic of the much-loved show nearly ten years after it left television?

The answer is a resounding yes.

Darker in tone, yet still as fun and funny as the TV show, Veronica Mars does not disappoint. Congrats must go to Rob Thomas who has successfully crafted a superb noir-ish murder-mystery that is as grown-up as its audience [now] is. Now about a sequel..?

Veronica Mars is released in selected cinemas and VOD platforms on March 14th.

***** 5/5

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