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Review: Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars
03.14.2014
8 10

PLOT:

Ten years after shaking off the dust of her Neptune, California hometown, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is forced to return home when her ex-flame, Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) is accused of murdering his pop-star girlfriend. Reteaming with her intrepid P.I dad, Keith (Enrico Colantoni) Veronica realizes her old hometown is just as dirty and corrupt as its always been. But heck, at least it’s not boring.

REVIEW:

Like the many fans who Kickstarter financed this to the tune of $5.7 million, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of Bell’s Veronica Mars. The TV show should have just been a goofy teen private-eye yarn (in the opening voiceover, Mars herself makes fun of the premise). But, thanks to the writing of series mastermind Rob Thomas, and the pitch-perfect cast including the iconic Bell, along with a scene-stealing Colantoni as her loving private-eye dad, VERONICA MARS ended up becoming one hell of a show. None other than Stephen King sung its praises.

At its best, VERONICA MARS was often called “HEATHERS meets CHINATOWN” with the comedy-drama of a clever outcast teen seamlessly blending with the dark secrets her hometown kept buried, including murder, rape, pedophilia, sadism, corruption and more. The third series ended on a downer, with Keith Mars once again being driven out of the Neptune sheriff’s department. A failed pitch-reel for a proposed season four would have seen Veronica join the FBI, but luckily that idea was shot down, paving the way for her big screen return.

Fans probably would have been just as happy if Thomas’s film (his big screen directorial debut) had played out like a supersized episode of the TV series, but a real effort has been made to draw in non-fans as well. The movie opens with a quick recap of the show, setting up the premise and giving some background on many of the players, and from there the mystery begins and even when the credits roll, there’s still intrigue left unresolved, hopefully leading to a sequel.

If Logan’s back, you can bet his surfer bud Dick Casablancas is too, with Ryan Hansen stealing every scene he’s in (I hope the rumors of a solo-digital series pan out), and the jam-packed Montreal audience I saw this with (who knew it had such a big following here?) cheered anytime he said something clever, which was often. One of the show’s strongest aspects was always the relationship between Veronica and Keith, and thankfully Thomas keeps that relationship at the forefront here, mostly through the B-mystery, where Keith investigates the always-corrupt Neptune Sheriff’s Department, now run by a smarmy Jerry O’Connell as Dan Lamb, brother of the series’ late Don Lamb. This mystery has the potential to carry the franchise forward if this makes enough coin, and the seeds of discord in the Neptune community that are planted here, suggesting a type of class-war, are intriguing.

Of course, being VERONICA MARS, there’s still lots of comedy, and pretty much all of the series’ most popular actors pop-up for bit parts, including Ken Marino as crooked P.I turned Paparazzo Vinnie Van Lowe, Max Greenfield as the easily manipulated Leo, and of course, Percy Daggs III & Tina Majorino as her best pals Wallace and Mac, who are always game to help ol’ Veronica break a couple of rules (or laws) here and there.

Obviously, VERONICA MARS is tailor-made for fans, who will no doubt love it (as I did) but even people who’ve never dug into the show will probably find this a really fun and fresh mystery (and will no doubt enjoy the numerous celebrity cameos). If they want more, they have three whole seasons to dig into. In a way I envy them. It’s really fun seeing Veronica and the gang back on the big-screen, and hopefully this won’t be for the last time.

Source: JoBlo.com

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