Veronica Mars Movie Review

Funded by fans, this follow-up to the cult TV show feels a lot like an extended reunion episode. But even those unfamiliar with the series will enjoy the twisty plot and smart dialog, plus the sparky Kristen Bell in the title role. And while there are rather too many characters for a stand-alone movie, they all feed nicely into the central mystery.

After escaping from the run-down seaside town of Neptune, California, nine years ago, Veronica (Bell) has become a New York lawyer. But just as she's on the verge of landing her first proper job, an old friend is murdered back home, waking her investigatory instincts. The worst of it is that her ex Logan (Dohring) is the prime suspect, so Veronica heads home to help him clear his name. Her private eye dad (Colantoni) just rolls his eyes when she slips back into her old mystery-solving role, working with her pals Mac, Weevil and Wallace (Majorino, Capra and Daggs). But three other classmates - Gia, Cobb and Dick (Ritter, Starr and Hansen) - are also involved. And the fact that she keeps putting off her return to New York annoys her boyfriend Piz (Lowell).

The most refreshing thing about this film is the way filmmaker Thomas refuses to play by the usual rules. Bell may have been offered a dream job, but we fully understand why she's blowing it off to help her friends. And the whodunit plot is just intriguing enough to hold our interest: we don't really care who the villain really is, but it's fun to watch Veronica dig through the clues and challenge every level of authority. And the script gleefully stirs in red herrings, side-plots and lots of suspicious-looking characters.

At the centre, Bell is terrific: plucky and likeable, Veronica is a bundle of sassy comebacks and brainy intuition. And her chemistry with everyone else lifts their rather dull characters as well. Not that there aren't some entertaining people on-screen, notably Hoffmann (as a goofy stalker chick) and Franco (in an extended cameo as another ridiculous version of himself). But this is Bell's show, and she gets it just right as the now-grown teen sleuth unable to resist the lure of her family and friends. Whether this spins into a series of films or a new TV series is another question.

Watch 'Veronica Mars' Trailer


Comments

Veronica Mars Rating

" Good "

Rating: 12, 2014

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