Cast - Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Krysten Ritter, Ryan Hansen, Francis Capra, Percy Daggs III, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino, Enrico Colantoni
Director - Rob Thomas
Rating - ****
The much-awaited film continuation to the cult TV show Veronica Mars definitely does a good job explaining what happens to the main characters while also maintaining the same murder mystery story-lines that made the TV show so brilliant.
This isn't the first TV show to continue via a feature film. In 2005, Joss Whedon's short-lived masterpiece 'Firefly' was made into a film due to strong requests from its huge fan following. 'Veronica Mars' does hold the distinction of being one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns in history resulting in the release of the feature film, to the fans absolute delight. But the question that one must ask is 'did it live up to all the hype?' - And the short answer is, Yes.
There are a lot of things that the film could have done better, there were a lot of flaws and short comings as well, but as a whole, the film did a brilliant job. The plot follows the eponymous Veronica Mars, a graduate of Neptune High and former amateur private investigator (although she does clear her PI exam at the end of season 3) as she returns to her hometown of Neptune to once again aid her former beau Logan Echolls who is accused of murder (once again). The film showcases familiar elements that were prevalent during the three season run of the hit show including the witty and sharp tongue of its lead character, the still very prominent divide between society's affluent and financially lacking, as well as the scandals that lie at the heart of the small town. What really works for the film is that creator Rob Thomas tries to combine the season long mysteries that made the show great and the wrap up story-line a two hour film would generally include.
Fans of the show will be thoroughly satisfied not only because the film keeps to original concept that made the show such a hit but also because they will get to see all the fan favourites once more. The film brings together the old gang once again including Logan Echolls, Veronica's on and off boyfriend; Dick Casablancas, Logan's surfing and mostly dim witted best friend; Wallace Fennel, Veronica's best friend and partner in crime; Cindy 'Mac' Mackenzie, the hacker in Veronica's Scooby gang; Stosh "Piz" Piznarski, Veronica's current squeeze; Eli 'Weevil' Navarro, Veronica's friend from the wrong side of the tracks and of course Keith Mars, Veronica's loving and supporting father. In addition to most of the supporting cast making an appearance, there were a handful of cameos from recurring cast members, most notably, the still sleazy Vinnie Van Lowe and deputy Leo D'Amato. Other Easter eggs for long term fans are the in reference jokes to what would have happened in season four, as well as Jerry O'Connel playing the late Don Lamb's brother and of course getting duped by Veronica just the same, and a street artist playing the theme song of the TV show.
The highlight of the film apart from the writing and the direction is Kristen Bell reprising her role as the sassy blond who never quite fit in with the popular kids. Bell steps back into Veronica Mars' shoes as if she never left, delivering a performance that proves this was the role she was born to play.
Another question one must ask when a canceled TV show gets a last ditched wrap up through a film is 'was it worth it?', and again the answer has to be, Yes. Not only does the film keep all the old fans happy, it will entertain those new to the franchise alike. The start of the film plays out like a montage with a voice over from Veronica, showing old scenes from the past three seasons and explaining for those not familiar with the characters, how they got to where they are today. New viewers might not feel the same love that 'marshmallows' (a popular name for fans of 'Veronica Mars') will feel, but will not be disappointed with the film as an entertainer.
Also check out, All you need to know before you watch the 'Veronica Mars' movie