Seven years after the CW/UPN show of the same name wrapped, Veronica Mars hit the big screen last weekend, thanks to a multi-million-dollar Kickstarter campaign where fans paid to return Kristen Bell’s private investigator to Neptune High. When Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) stands accused of murdering his pop star girlfriend, Veronica leaves her NY law firm interviews, her plans for a future, and boyfriend Piz (Chris Lowell, Enlisted) to return to Neptune, CA. But Veronica left town for a reason, and a murder investigation may be the least of her worries.
Fans of the show will appreciate the way that each of the characters from the television show are worked back in. It helps that Veronica returns for her ten-year high school reunion, but we have our eyes out for Weevil (Francis Capra), Mac (Tina Majorino, Grey’s Anatomy), Wallace (Percy Daggs III), and, of course, Veronica’s dad, Keith (Enrico Colantoni). Before long, Veronica is mixing it up with the local police department (Jerry O’Connell), and fighting off the “mean girls” from high school who still have it out for her. (Sometimes, it’s tough being the smart, snarky kid in school.)
But if you don’t have a background with the television show, what are you really getting out of this? You’re mostly checking out Bell’s smart-aleck verbal attacks on high school, cliques, corruption in the police force, etc. And the James Franco cameo as a crucial hinge point in the case. And a murder mystery that actually requires some real detective work to clear Logan (does any fan of the show actually think that director/producer/creator Rob Thomas would really make him guilty?) and set straight the police department corruption that has endured since Keith Mars left the position.
Overall, it’s a pretty fun spin back through the world of Neptune. There’s not a lot of depth here, other than Veronica being the person she’s always been, a dogged pursuer of truth. We know she’s like the patron saint of lost causes (sorry, Saint Jude), but she’s up against one of those “guilty until proven innocent” situations that seems prevalent in run-of-the-mill cop shows… and real life. It’s why we’re back at this point, watching Veronica again, even as she messes up her interpersonal relationships, while setting the world straight when it comes to truth and justice.
One line review: If you’re a fan, this is a no-brainer; everyone else? It’s a 50/50 split on whether you’ll find yourself caring.