Part of me wants to be able to distance myself from the emotional attachment I have to Veronica Mars and just look at the film but that kind of dismisses the whole point of this movie. The Veronica Mars movie was made out of love and that love only enhanced the viewing experience so I’m not going to be ashamed of it. I’ll freely admit that I was one of the 91,585 people that backed the Kickstarter and now that I’ve seen the film I can say that it was totally worth it.
Picking up 9 years after the series ended Veronica is living in New York, interviewing for high paying jobs as a lawyer, dating Piz and generally having it all. That is until an old high school classmate turned pop star is found murdered and Veronica’s ex-boyfriend Logan is implicated in the death. Veronica drops everything, puts on her PI pants and sets about solving the crime to clear Logan’s name. All this just happens to coincide with her 10 year High School reunion.
Full disclosure, I had to watch this film twice before I even attempted to write this review because I spend the first viewing curled up in a ball of emotion because I was just so happy to see these characters again. I was also incredibly anxious because I quickly remembered how much pain this show had caused me over the years. I might have screamed at the screen in despair a couple of times. But once I got past the initial emotional overload there was one thought that stood out: let’s do that again because was SO MUCH FUN!
Before I start gushing about how much I loved it, let’s talk about the shortcomings because there were a few. It’s a bit clunky to start – although I enjoyed the voiceover recap, Veronica’s time in New York was filled with stilted conversations where people tell each other things that they should probably already know just to get the audience up to speed. It’s a necessary evil but I think there are better ways to do.
In fact the whole New York story is nothing more than a plot device and it comes across that way, it didn’t feel like Veronica was invested in her New York life. It was almost as though her whole life has been on hold since the series ended, which actually kind of works in a way because for fans it has been. It does what it needs to do but it never once feels like Veronica is genuinely conflicted about her choice and all the other characters know it too, even poor Piz.
The mystery plot was fairly unmemorable – although there were parts that I enjoyed – but I have to be honest the murder mystery aspect was never was drew me to Veronica Mars. And although as a fan I very much enjoyed all the cameo appearances, I can imagine it would get a little annoying for new viewers. While this film works as stand alone my advice is take the time to watch the series first. Not only is a phenomenal television series (there’s a reason so many people invested in this film) but it will definitely enhance your viewing experience. You will never regret watching Veronica Mars.
Once they move past the backstory and reintroductions this film really hits it’s stride and it’s really entertaining. There is no way I could exaggerate how much enjoyed this film and while the plot was fun, and the characters were fantastic as always, a lot of that enjoyment comes from the love that went into making this film. Because you can feel it. You can tell that everyone involved in this film really wanted to be there, really wanted to tell this story and it’s infectious.
Probably my favorite part of this film is that it feels more like the beginning of something rather than the end. I mean, there are answers and a lot of what was left up in the air when the series ended is resolved. But part of this film is so optimistic about the future – hinting at bigger problems that will need many more films (or perhaps a television series) to resolve. It’s not detrimental to the narrative, so don’t worry about that, but it definitely left me wanting more.
There is no doubt in my mind, if they asked me for more money so they could tell more of this story I would hand it over in a heartbeat. This movie melted my marshmallow insides, covered them in chocolate and turned them into s’mores.
Author: Undie Girl
Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.
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