Posted by martinteller on April 30, 2014
Until recently, I had never seen an episode of “Veronica Mars”, but I spent much of the past two months binge-watching the entire series (one of the reasons I haven’t posted that many movie reviews lately). I had a few recurring issues with the show — especially in the third and final season — but overall I liked it for its wit and generally strong mystery/detective storytelling. The film finds Veronica (Kristen Bell) 9 years later, having left Neptune behind her and now a promising law school grad in New York. But she’s pulled back into her old life when broody old flame Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) is once again implicated in a felony he didn’t commit.
There’s a lot of fanservice in this movie, and despite a lengthy intro summing up the series it seems more catered to the loyal audience than the newcomer. Favorite characters like Wallace (Percy Daggs III), Mac (Tina Majorino), Piz (Chris Lowell), Weevil (Francis Capra), Leo (Max Greenfield) and Veronica’s father Keith (Enrico Colantoni) all make appearances. So do the love-to-hate types like Dick (Ryan Hanson) and Madison (Amanda Noret). New faces include a very amusing turn by Gaby Hoffman, Jerry O’Connell as former Sheriff Lamb’s younger — and even more detestable — brother Dan, and Rob Thomas makes yet another connection between “Party Down” and the Marsiverse with a big role for Martin Starr.
The movie basically plays like an extra-long episode of the series. Better, in fact, because we’re not being distracted by a season-long story arc (or too much relationship drama, though that is certainly there) and are free to concentrate on matters at hand. I’m not sure how it would play to someone not familiar with the series, but as a mystery I found it reasonably satisfying and it had some good surprises without feeling twisty for the sake of being twisty. Veronica still makes some frustratingly annoying life choices (take ONE MINUTE to answer your phone, jeez) and while I understand that fans would gather their pitchforks if Logan weren’t involved, I stopped being a fan of that relationship about halfway through the series. I’m bummed that once again Wallace — my favorite character — is barely present. But I really don’t have much to gripe about. It’s a fun return to the show, and the door is left wide open for a potential sequel. Rating: Good (74)