Jungle
Veronica Mars
WAIT, WAS THAT...?

Keep an eye out for a hysterical appearance by Dax Shepard (real-life husband to Kristen Bell).

People have been complaining about entertainment for years. Recycled ideas by different people, summer action movies, guy always gets the girl; it's no wonder that audiences are bored. But living in the digital age has proven it's worth: Kickstarter. Fans who are truly dedicated to seeing something can voice their concern and throw their desired amount of dedication to a project. After igniting the world on fire with massively surpassing their expected budget to finance it, creator Rob Thomas and the Neptune P.I herself, Kristen Bell, promised the world a movie of their favorite high-school gumshoe: Veronica Mars. But did audiences really need another look into Veronica's life with 10 years passing from her high school days?
 
With her recent interviews with a well respected law firm in New York, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) has come a long way since her detective days. She has moved to the East coast with her long-term boyfriend, Piz (Chris Lowell), studied Law in college and is 6 weeks out from taking the Bar exam. As we know, though, the past has a funny way of coming back to you. Upon hearing the news of her classmates' death, Veronica travels back to Neptune, California to help defend her ex-boyfriend, Logan (Jason Dohring), who is the lead suspect in the murder. Knowing he couldn't have been the culprit, Veronica finds herself in the shadow of her 16 year old self, interrogating peers and uncovering dirty laundry that the people of Neptune never wanted exposed. The people are the same, but have the motives changed?
 
To those unaware, Veronica Mars was a popular (albeit underground) television show that lasted three seasons before it was abruptly cancelled. Full of quips and an unforgiven ability to tackle hard and very real issues, the show was heavily mourned and had stayed popular, thanks to Netflix. Having never watched the show, I was interested in seeing if the movie was designed solely to cater to its' loyal fans or if it could pass as a stand alone film. In some cases, Veronica Mars is a surprising and interesting journey into a woman who is drowning in her lack of self-discovery and happens to find herself fighting off the only passion that ever made her happy. Veronica Mars serves as a good, if uneven, mystery wrapped in rich comedic value. Unfortunately, the reason it feels uneven is that a lot of the intrigue is depending on a preexisting knowledge of these characters and their previous relationships. 
 
Rob Thomas (not to be confused with the Matchbox 20 frontman) smartly decides to open up with a brief yet blunt introduction to Veronica and her high-school journeys. Past this, the script allows multiple opportunities to catch up, but can't stop the film from feeling like the television series was required viewing for this film. This does not change how enjoyable Veronica Mars is as a movie, but it does hinder the understanding of it as a stand alone picture. 
 
In terms of fan service, I have no doubt in my mind that Veronica Mars is going to blow the roof off of some theaters, as our screening theater was packed out with "Marshmallows" (I have no idea why they call themselves that, but there you go) and they were not afraid to be vocal about what they loved. Whether it be in small quotes or brief run-ins with familiar faces, the audience erupted on many occasions. From what is being presented, it's not hard to imagine why. Kristen Bell is on her game and the chemistry between her and her co-stars is electric. It's pretty fantastic to think of how well their chemistry can hold up after 10 years. Particularly between Kristen and Enrico Colantoni (Veronica's P.I father). 
 
As it's own picture, Veronica Mars misses a few marks, mostly in lack-of-interest. However, as a fan service film, Rob Thomas and his crew have built something that will quench the thirst of a shortly lived cult series and destroy any worry that re-visiting Neptune, California would ruin the television series and its legacy. I'll go as far to say that this may be the most faithful and satisfying adaptation of a television series. Despite any previous knowledge of the series, Veronica Mars is a hilarious, mostly smart and genuinely thrilling mystery told through an interesting light. Imagine Juno acting out The Maltese Falcon. Anyone else just imagine a pregnant Humphrey Bogart?
Ryan Sterritt
Review by Ryan Sterritt
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