Marshmallows have waited seven years for their favorite teen sleuth, Veronica Mars, to make a comeback. March 14th, thanks to a history-making Kickstarter campaign that raised $5.7 million, the witty, resourceful heroine is back in a satisfying two-hour reunion with all our favorite Neptune residents.
The film opens with Veronica (Kristen Bell) 10 years after she left Neptune, interviewing to be a lawyer in New York and dating Stosh Piznarski (Chris Lowell), her one-time college flame. But when former boyfriend (and fan-favorite) Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) is charged with the murder of a former classmate, Veronica can’t help but to return to her old stomping grounds and get in touch with her sleuthing roots.
But Veronica doesn’t have to jump into it alone. A 10-year Neptune High reunion brings the old gang back together, including computer wiz Mac (Tina Majorino), loyal best friend Wallace (Percy Daggs III), tough biker turned family man Eli ‘Weevil’ Navarro (Francis Capra) and the always clueless Dick Casablancas (Ryan Hansen). With locals like rival P.I Vinnie van Lowe (Ken Marino) and police deputy Leo D’Amato (Max Greenfield) still around, "Veronica Mars" acts more like an extended episode than a feature film.
Character has always been the strongest part of the cult-classic television show, and the cast delivers with its performances. Kristen Bell is as winning as ever as the once-great sleuth, falling into the familiar role with sharp dialogue, ingenuity and complexity. Veronica Mars has always been a heroine with as many flaws and bad decisions behind her as any wrongdoer she faced, and the movie proves no exception. Trapped between two worlds, Mars struggles to decide, and Bell makes it all look effortless.
Enrico Colantoni, who plays Veronica’s P.I father Keith, is impeccable as the caring father who has to watch his daughter return to the life he never wanted for her. This father-daughter dynamic has always been one of the most captivating parts of the show and is even more endearing as Keith tries to send his daughter back to New York, back to a life as a lawyer, back to boyfriend Piz.
All the other returning players, too, play their characters to a T, the way fans originally fell for them, but special recognition has to go to Ryan Hansen. Hansen’s conceited frat boy Dick has always been a fan-favorite, saying the most outlandish things and having a pleasing antagonistic rapport with our heroine. In the movie, Hansen shines and steals every scene in which he makes an appearance.
The plot may seem typical to a "Veronica Mars" fan. A murder plot that connects back to Neptune High is nothing fans haven’t seen before. But series creator and the film’s writer Rob Thomas added enough unexpected twists to keep audiences gasping and anxious for what would happen next.
But the plot wasn’t what thousands of fans gave their money to see. They were in for one last trip to Neptune, and Rob Thomas gave us just that. Gags are resurfaced and references that date back even to the pilot are peppered throughout. The characters easily slip into their old molds. This movie is a wholehearted tribute to the fans that pined for a more satisfying ending to Veronica’s journey than the lackluster season three finale.
While "Veronica Mars" is catered to the fans who fell in love with the petite blonde with the Nikon camera, anyone who appreciates a strong female lead, some sexual chemistry and balance between humor and thriller can appreciate this long-awaited installment. Who knows? The film may just turn you into a Marshmallow.