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VERONICA MARS (review)

Review by Stefan Blitz
Produced by Rob Thomas, Dan Etheridge, Danielle Stokdyk
Screenplay by Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero
Story by Rob Thomas
Based on Veronica Mars by Rob Thomas
Directed by Rob Thomas
Starring Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Krysten Ritter, 
Ryan Hansen, Francis Capra, Percy Daggs III, 
Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino, Enrico Colantoni

I might have been late to the party, but I’m a Marshmallow.

I’ve owned the DVDs for all three seasons of Veronica Mars since they were released.  I watched the first few episodes of season one and liked it, but for one reason or another they wound up in an ever growing stack of stuff to watch when I found some time.

When Amazon Prime debuted the entire series, I really didn’t have much of an excuse.  I was a huge fan of creator Rob Thomas’ other series, Party Down, and from the moment I saw the Kickstarter video I knew I wanted to see the film.

It took about two and a half weeks to tear through the entire series.  And this morning, I quickly downloaded the film to see how they did.

They did good.

Veronica Mars is a film for and financed by it’s fans.  Unlike Serenity, there’s really very little painting in broad strokes so the audience unfamiliar with the property can play catch up.  With the exception of a self referential Kickstarter comment, a street singer belting out the series’ theme song and a two minute opening credits summary of the property, by the time Ms. Mars lands back in Neptune, California at the behest of former love/bad boy/now accused murderer Logan Echolls, the film doesn’t slow down for unfamiliars to play catch up.

As luck would have it, Veronica will also be in town for her tenth high school reunion.  The film gives everyone their moment (unfortunately, I wish several received a few more) and very quickly reestablishes the denizens of Neptune, as well as the current status of the class war that only seems to have gotten worse and more intense in the past decade.

The reunion is a great excuse to bring up many of the series’ more colorful characters from Veronica’s past, and her investigation of Logan’s innocence allows plenty of interaction with both the local police and the seedier side of the city.

Although it often feels like a longer episode of the series rather than a movie, isn’t that what you want?  Veronica’s narration and snark are still there, as are all of the things that endeared the series to the fans in the first place.  Veronica Mars finally got the ending it deserved, and if all goes well, a new beginning.

A wise theme song once said, “A long time ago we used to be friends.”

Veronica, we still are.

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