A long time ago…we used to be friends. How very fitting a theme song, and as soon as it is heard on the big screen a rush of nostalgia and familiarity returned. Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell and company do not disappoint, as the film is much like seeing an old dear friend after too long of an absence. The ballyhooed Kickstarter campaign by Thomas to keep his vision of more Veronica Mars certainly resonated with the fan base as their target goal was hit in mere hours and they eventually were able to raise almost triple their desired amount.
For the non-initiated, the film opens with a brief montage that covers the three seasons Veronica Mars aired on UPN/The CW. While it certainly doesn’t give you nuances or specifics, I think it is enough to not be lost and makes the film accessible. With that said, there are many inside references and characters appearances by original cast members. I strongly suggest at least giving the first season a try.
The closest thing this film reminds me of was back in the summer of 2008 and the film X-Files: I Want to Believe. Veronica Mars is actually a better film than the X-Files film was, but it is a very similar emotion that I felt going to see both films. Scully and Mulder were characters I grew to love by watching them over a decade and I knew in all likelihood it would be the last time I would ever see these characters on screen again. That was a special moment even if the film was a bit lackluster. Seeing Veronica Mars, Logan, Wallace, Weevil, etc. back in action again was very emotionally satisfying. While the series only ran for 1/3 of the duration of X-Files, it still held a special significance to me as one of the top shows of the past decade. My daughter wasn’t alive when Veronica Mars first aired, but now at seven, even without ever having seen a single episode, she was smitten by the film. A binge of season one is already underway in my household.
The film starts out nine years from when we last saw Veronica in college. Veronica is applying for a high profile job as a lawyer in New York City. We quickly learn she is still in a relationship with Piz, yet I find it odd that they have been together this whole time and she has yet to meet his parents, really? She also hasn’t spoken to Logan at all these past nine years, but when he calls her out of the blue his picture pops up on her phone, again really? Nine years is a long time to keep someone’s cell number that you never speak to, not to mention nine years ago there were no social media connections that would connect to your phone, but I’ll let that slide for sake of getting to the main plot.
[spoiler]It seems as Logan is still Logan and can’t seem to steer clear of the fast life or keeping himself out of trouble. His pop singer girlfriend has apparently been murdered and he is the prime suspect. I think we all know that despite the nine year absence there is still a strong bond between them, as the Logan she knows is no killer. Goodbye New York, hello Neptune, and what do you know it’s just in time for Neptune High’s ten year reunion. I won’t spoil who all is in the film, but if they played any sort of significant role on the series, odds are they make at least a brief appearance here, not to mention a few high profile celebrities are spotted along the way, like Veronica’s interviewer, Jamie Lee Curtis.[/spoiler]
The best way I can summarize this film is that it captures the soul of the television series and is spot on in its delivery. If you didn’t like the show, this isn’t going to be for you; however, if you were a fan, you will love it. If you haven’t been exposed or initiated yet, I think you owe it to yourself to see what all the fuss is about. I mean if you are reading this, you have to at least be a little curious, right?
There is even a sub-plot about the Neptune police that isn’t fully realized. I’m not sure if it was due to editing or if there are plans for a sequel in the works as they certainly laid the groundwork for another mystery. All in all it was the most fun I’ve had at the movies in quite some time. I hope this isn’t the last time I get to see a Veronica in action, but if it is, I am very satisfied with the outcome. Seeing as how the show isn’t on Netflix for streaming, it may be hard to binge for some, but if you have that option I promise those 64 episodes are well worth watching. The movie was clearly a labor of love by all involved and it shows, even if I wasn’t a fan I think supporting these types of efforts is worthwhile and I hope to see more films in the future made based on the love from both the fans and cast.