I was one of the almost 92,000 people that funded the Kickstarter campaign to make a movie of the gone too soon UPN/The CW TV show Veronica Mars. And tonight (March 13, 2014), almost a year to the day that Rob Thomas, the creator of Veronica Mars and Kristen Bell aka Veronica Mars herself et al launched the campaign that ended up raising $5.7 million, gave me the opportunity to see what my $35 funded.
If you don’t know what the TV show was about, the movie explains all of that in the first 5 minutes but those that don’t, it was basically about a teen private eye who worked for her PI dad Keith Mars in Neptune, California. The first season revolved around the murder of Veronica’s best friend, Lily Kane (played by Amanda Seyfried) while the second season was finding out who caused a bus crash that resulted in multiple casualties while the final season focused on several different mysteries like finding how who is the serial rapist at the college that Veronica and friends are attending or the murder of the dean.
Anyways, the movie doesn’t really explain everything about the show but really talked about the events of season 1.
Veronica Mars the movie starts off 9 years after the events of the show. Veronica is now living in New York City having just graduated law school and now is seeking employment at a law firm. We see Veronica interviewing with a firm that is headed up by Jamie Lee Curtis, who starts mentioning all the things that Veronica has done on the show as a PI.
Another thing about Veronica is she is still dating Piz (Chris Lowell), a character introduced in the third season and someone that I didn’t like as I saw him as an impediment to Logan (Jason Dohring) and Veronica getting back together. Logan, as a reminder, was Neptune High’s class jerk and bully. At the beginning of the show, Logan was a total asshole to Veronica but the two got closer as she helped in solve the disappearance of his mother. The two ended up dating on and off throughout the show’s run. Fans and Logan believe that their love story is epic.
What draws Veronica back to Neptune is a phone call from Logan, whom she has spoken to in 9 years. He needs her help in clearing his name in the murder of his ex-girfriend, a pop artist that they went to high school with when she was known as Carrie Bishop. In the show Carrie was played by Leighton Meester but she couldn’t perform the role in the movie so the role is now played by Andrea Estella.
Another reason for her to come back is Veronica’s 10 year high school reunion where she is happily reunited with best friends Wallace Fennel (Percy Daggs III) and Cindy “Mac” Mackenzie. And not so joyful reunions with high school nemesis Madison Sinclair (Amanda Noret) and of course there is DIck Casablancas. The most happy reunion of all is of course with her dad, Keith (Enrico Colantoni), who is still a PI in Neptune.
Now the rest of this review is going to contain spoilers as to what happened in the movie so if you don’t want to read then stop now. If you do, scroll down a bit to read my thoughts.
One of the things that I really loved about Veronica Mars movie is that Rob Thomas kept the tone of the show alive. I felt like I was watching a really extended episode of the show.
There were some characters that were brought back that I didn’t think were necessary. When I saw that Krysten Ritter was going to reprise her role as Gia Goodman, I thought why? I didn’t think she was that memorable of a character except for the fact that her father was a pedophile and he was played by Steve Guttenberg. Other characters from season 1 show up like Sam Huntingdon’s Luke. Again I thought his appearance, like Gia’s was pointless but was made for the sake of adding people that were in the show. However, these two characters were integral to the mystery. As was Martin Starr’s character who was set-up as being a high school classmate of Veronica’s but actually didn’t appear on the show. Another character that is in the movie but not in the show was Gabby Hoffman’s Della, who was obsessed with Carrie Bishop’s pop persona as well as Logan.
A character that was central to the movie’s mystery was Susan Knight. I didn’t remember her at all but a quick Wikipedia search refreshed my memory. It was season 1 episode called “Mars versus Mars” where Carrie Bishop accused a teacher (played by Adam Scott) of sexually harassment but in fact she was doing that in Susan’s stead who was the actual student having an affair with the teacher. The movie even mentioned the baby that Susan had with the teacher.
Let’s catch up on what our favourite or not so favourite Veronica Mars characters have been up to. Piz in the movie is still a disc jockey but probably working for a big New York City radio station. Wallace is a teacher at Neptune High and is also the basketball coach. Mac now works for Kane Software and even though she hates the idea of working for the enemy, they pay her a sh&t load of money. Weevil (Francis Capra) is a married man now with a 3-year old daughter, has his own shop and has quit the PCHers. Dick is still Dick meaning he doesn’t do much but drink and surf and be a douche to everyone. Logan meanwhile has grown up not just in maturity but physically as well. Logan greets Veronica at the airport in a Navy uniform looking ever so dashing.
During the In Memoriam section of the high school reunion character names like Felix Toombs and Meg Manning were mentioned. If you are fans of the show, then you would know how they met their maker.
At first Veronica only came back to help Logan find a lawyer but the lure of solving this mystery gets to her and she devotes more time than she wanted to help Logan out despite her father’s misgivings.
Another to love about the movie is the father-daughter relationship is very much intact from the TV show. The sass and sarcasm and wit from these two is so lovely to behold.
I also loved the winks and nods to the Kickstarted campaign and also the failed season 4 attempt at placing Veronica Mars at the FBI.
Rob Thomas does some smart things with this movie like explaining characters to newbies but in a way that fans will find funny. The best example is Max Greenfield’s fan favourite Deputy Leo. Leo pretended not to know who Veronica was so she had to explain who she was to him. Voice over was used to explain some characters like Vinnie Van Lowe (Ken Marino), who ended up being instrumental, in helping Veronica solving the case.
Also, Jerry O’Connell appears as Sheriff Dan Lamb, the older brother of Don Lamb, the sheriff of Neptune was on the TV show before getting killed. It seems that the Lamb’s don’t make good Sheriff’s as Dan Lamb almost blows the murder case by insisting in pining it on Logan.
There some definite surprises in this movie. For example, the appearance of James Franco was fun and another shocking appearance is from Lisa Thornhill’s Celeste Kane who shot and almost killed Weevil. What this ended up doing is exposing police corruption within the Sheriff’s department that got Deputy Sacks (remember him from the show -still rocking the ‘stache) killed and severely injured Keith. Also this shooting is a catalyst for Weevil to return to the PCHers.
Piz did join Veronica for the 10 year high school reunion but returned to NYC shortly after so he can go meet up with his parents, who are anxious to meet Veronica. However, when Veronica doesn’t show, Piz has had enough and breaks up with her. In other bad news, Veronica got her job offer taken away from the law firm from the beginning of the movie.
But if brighter news, when Logan takes Veronica home from the hospital after seeing her dad, she and Logan reunite. YAY!!!. Is this a good choice for her? Hell yes. I’ve always loved Logan and Veronica and thought their season 1 pairing was brilliant. Plus Logan has definitely grown up. He is less snarky but still has a bit of a temper on him that only seems to be inflammed when someone hurts or insults someone he loves. This is a reason why Logan is a suspect in Carrie’s murder.
Dohring and Bell have such amazing chemistry that is still there years later. And Kristen Bell was amazing a Veronica. I can only see her as that character no matter what she is in except for maybe Frozen.
Do you want to know who killed Carrie? I will let you know below:
It was Martin Starr’s character Lou “Cobb” Cobbler, who was blackmailing Carrie, Gia and Luke because he had an incriminating photo of them dumping Susan Knight’s body overboard Carrie’s father’s boat after she OD’d. Gia’s role was to set Logan up for the murder. What does Gia get for her troubles -a shot in the gut, which she dies from the wound.
When all this is over, it seems that Logan and Veronica are truly back together. Logan has to leave to go back to the Navy. Logan will be away for 180 days but says that is nothing considering the epicness of their story. So it seems that if we get a sequel, LoVe will still be together.
While her father’s hopes that she will return to NYC, Veronica has an epiphany of sorts and that she is meant to be a PI. I even think that she recruited Mac away from Kane Software with the amount of computer equipment that is on the receptionist’s desk. So that would be cool as we have our own Team Mars Investigations for the sequel.
So let’s make a sequel happen! Go out and see this movie, buy the download copy, anything so that this can make tons of money. We need to see more Veronica Mars adventures on screen.