“I knew the felonies before I knew the state capitals.”
First off, a warning:
Being much too young to watch it during the original airing (I remember seeing ads for it though), I started watching Veronica Mars in 2011, when I was 15. I spent an entire winter break watching it, an oddity because I don’t usually watch endless episodes of a TV show, just getting wrapped up in the world of Neptune, and annoying my mum out of her mind with the constant playing of the theme song.
Back then, and now, Veronica really resonated with me. Like many people, I’m sure, I didn’t have the best time at high school, especially just before the time I watched the show. There was something about how Veronica was an outsider (like I was) but literally didn’t care and just threw everything into what she loved, that made her unique, that was something I really needed to hear, and is one of the reasons why I loved it so much. The character of Veronica is so incredibly unique and unlike anything I’d ever seen before, and that combined with the unique approach and structure that borrowed so much from cinema, makes for a series that I couldn’t wait to return to.
The film of Veronica Mars is everything a fan would want and more, in that Rob Thomas and company have indeed recreated that world they so expertly crafted and passionately loved in the series. Veronica’s dialogue is as smart and funny as ever, Dick is still a disgusting goofball, Logan is still a sometimes-idiot, and Piz is still very safe and loveable. The relationships between the settings and characters are just as immersive as ever, truly creating a universe of their own, and Keith Mars is still the dad you wish you had.
Of course, this results in it not feeling like the most cinematic-feeling film on the planet, but rather a feature-length episode. It picks up from where the series ended abruptly without missing a beat, both stylistically and narratively, and within five minutes, it’s almost like these excellent characters have never been away from the screen at all. The performances are lovely, bringing back these personalities exactly how you remember them, and Neptune looks exactly the same as the last visit, from the famed lunch tables to Eli ‘Weevil’ Navarro (seriously, I don’t think Francis Capra has aged…).
It may be pure fan service with some wonderfully orchestrated nostalgia thrown in there, but isn’t that what a film funded by fans should be? If this turns out to be the last catch up with Veronica and company, it was the perfect closure. I couldn’t be more grateful to be allowed back into the shadowy, secretive streets of Neptune with Veronica and her universe for two hours. Thank you, Rob Thomas, Kristen Bell and cast.
Veronica Mars is available on video-on-demand platforms now.
M (violence and coarse language), 104 mins.