Movie Review: ‘Veronica Mars’ Is Good Whether You’re A Fan Or Not

I must openly admit at the top of this review that I never watched the cult hit CW television show this movie works as a sequel to. So, if you are a fan, I can’t really tell you if it captures the spirit of your beloved tv show. I can imagine that it will likely work better for you because you know all the details of these characters backgrounds beforehand, but I can’t be sure. What I can tell you, is that the film works quite well as a stand alone film.

The opening couple of minutes are devoted to giving anyone that knows next to nothing  about Veronica Mars (played with a wonderful spunk by Kristen Bell) a bit if a crash course. Apparently, the show started with her best friend (a young Amanda Seyfried) getting murdered in the town of Neptune, California. Veronica copes with her death by trying to solve her murder. She also falls in and out of love with her friends ex-boyfriend, Logan (Jason Dohring). Her father Keith (Enrico Colantoni) is simultaneously fired from the police department and opens his own private detective firm.

Fast forward about 9 or 10 years and we find that Veronica has given up the life of a private eye to go to law school. She has a new boyfriend, lives in New York, and is in the middle of trying to get a job at a major law firm. That all comes to an abrupt stop when she gets a blast from her past. You see, it appears to the media that Logan has murdered his girlfriend and left her in the bath. Veronica knows better and heads off to California to help him get a good lawyer.

However, she got that private eye blood running through her veins. She can’t stop at just helping him get a lawyer. She needs to solve the case, and that is what the remainder of the running time is devoted to. So, the real questions that should come into play with a movie like this should be self apparent for non-fans. Does this movie make me care about these characters and is the detective story a fun one to watch? For me, the answer is “yes” to both.

I really enjoyed Kristen Bell in this role. I mean, I’ve liked her in a lot of other stuff before, but I always feel like she is type cast as the standard pretty blonde character and she is so much better. In this movie, she is funny, spunky, quirky, and super smart. I also liked a number of other characters, played by actors from Tina Majorino to Kristen Ritter. Many of these actors have moved on to promising careers, but it is quite nice to see them in the roles that put them on the map.

I also had a good time watching this detective story. It is not the most brilliant who dun it you have ever seen, but it is handled with a nice amount of comedy and has no issue keeping you guessing. Veronica is also such a good character that it is a lot of fun watching her figure out the pieces of the puzzle. So, whether you are a fan of the series or just want to watch a good movie, you are going to have a good time with Veronica Mars.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Nathan Ligon
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