[VERONICA MARS is now available on demand.]
Review by Bob Ignizio
I've never seen the Veronica Mars TV show. Whether that makes me more or less qualified to review its feature length film spin-off, also called VERONICA MARS, depends on your point of view. If you're a fan wondering how it compares to the show or whether the characters feel true to how they've been depicted in the past and so on, look elsewhere. All I can tell you is how VERONICA plays as a film strictly on its own terms.That, and it's kind of cool that this movie was funded by fans using Kickstarter. It is to date the most successful Kickstarter campaign for a movie, meeting its goal of two million dollars in less than 10 hours, and going on to raise just shy of six million dollars total.
For newbies there is a short recap to fill in all the necessary details regarding the past life and adventures of Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell). It has been nine years since Veronica left her small, fairly corrupt hometown of Neptune, CA behind to pursue a law degree in New York City and get serious about her relationship with boyfriend “Piz” (Chris Lowell). Those plans go out the window once Veronica learns that her ex-boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring) is the prime suspect in a murder investigation, and it's hard to say whether her primary motivation for heading back west is to help an old friend, rekindle an old romance, or just feel the thrill of solving a crime again.
On its own terms VERONICA MARS is a solid piece of entertainment. It's not good enough to make me want to invest the time necessary to binge watch the series that spawned it, but I'd probably be up for a sequel. The film's main strengths are its cast, the engaging characters they play, and the sharp, witty dialogue in the script by director (and series creator) Rob Thomas and his co-writer Diane Ruggerio. Its biggest weakness is that it just doesn't feel very cinematic. In terms of style and scope, VERONICA MARS the movie still looks and feels an awful lot like episodic TV. Which makes the option of watching the film on demand, as I did, the way to go unless you're a die-hard fan of the series who really wants to see these characters on a big screen. 3 out of 4 stars.