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Digesting the lowest rung of pop culture so you don't have to!
The Kickstarted Veronica Mars film hit theaters/VOD last month. I suppose there was some anticipation for it by fans who contributed to its fundraising campaign, and the film did comparatively well considering its low theatrical distribution. But how was the actual film? Was it worth all the effort especially with the original show being off the air for several years?
Honestly, the movie was okay, but nothing special. It is total fan service which makes sense given that the fan base largely paid for it. It has been 9 years since the end of the show and Veronica (Kristen Bell) has moved on with her life. She’s about to get a big lawyer gig and is in a long-term relationship with Piz (an under-appreciated Chris Lowell). However, her past in Neptune comes calling back when her ex-boyfriend, Logan (a bored Jason Dohring), is accused of murder and calls her to help prove his innocence.
Because it is fan service, I don’t think anyone who hadn’t seen the show would really understand what is going on with the movie. Much of what happens banks on the fact that you know these characters as, outside of Veronica, no one is really given any depth or reason for us to care for them. If you’ve seen the show, you get it. If not, then you’d be lost.
That really is the tricky part of doing a movie continuation of a TV show. Sometimes you can be successful such as the Star Trek films as the original show didn’t feature ongoing storylines. With Veronica Mars accessibility can be a problem. Fans of the show will like this, and that might be all that really matters.
As a movie, however, there are some basic problems. As I mentioned above, many of the characters are not given much to do other than stand there and say “Hey! Remember me from the show!” Specifically Veronica’s friends in Wallace (Percy Daggs III) and Mac (Tina Majorino). They are just forced into a story that doesn’t need them. Another issue this movie has is that it introduces plot lines really late into the game and never really resolves them. I don’t know if this was to set-up a potential sequel, but it just seems sloppy.
Warning: Minor Spoilers
I also had a problem with Veronica’s arc in this movie. None of it ringed true. She’s lived for nearly a decade away from Neptune, but is willing to throw it all away and return to Neptune after a weekend of nostalgia. I don’t quite buy it. Nine years can change a person. A lot. I realize they had to find a way to return to the status quo by the end of the movie, but it just seemed forced and difficult to swallow.
It was fun jumping back into this world again, but it is a world that is just too large for a film to really service and do it justice. While it has several narrative and moviemaking faults, the Veronica Mars fans should be satisfied at the end of the day. And, as I mentioned earlier, that is really all that matters in this case.