TV doesn’t always translate the big screen. History seems to be even less forgiving on going the opposite way. Though television has a long standing aiming to graduate certain fare to the big screen, the playbook was completely rewritten. After years of a fan base desperate for more, “Veronica Mars” creator Rob Thomas gave them a challenge: if $2 million could be raised, a movie would happen. Backed by Warner Brothers who own the property, fans across the globe went to work donating to get their beloved kid sleuth a big screen update. Almost immediately, the $2 million was reached and nearly tripled before the pledge was closed.
That brings us to this past weekend, when those contributors and general audiences could get a taste of what was being assembled. Releasing on video-on-demand and in select theaters, “Veronica Mars” revisits our title heroine on the eve of her ten-year reunion. Leaving Neptune behind, Veronica (Kristen Bell) has graduated law school and on the verge of landing a job with a prestigious New York law firm. Despite having no intention returning, her ex-boyfriend Logan has found himself as the prime suspect in the death of a pop singer. So, like all those trying to put the past behind them, she returns to one last time only to find herself in the usual predicament.
The film works on multiple layers. With each deeper layer yielding a more rich experience. For those who have no knowledge of the show, which is available on DVD, the film plays as an effective whodunit. Any exposition needed appears in the opening credits. For casual fans, the film is a fun revisit of show with a smart sense of humor that has a few clever cameos. For the avid fans, it couldn’t be better (but would easily welcome a longer cut for all the subplots). Tiny characters reappear and nods to previous storylines reward those most involved in the show’s universe.
Mixing a strong female lead and spats of high school nostalgia, the film is a great blast of the show’s best elements. Those familiar with “Veronica Mars” will experience in the span of two hours. The small budget doesn’t cap the creativity of the story. I may feel a bit like a small screen affair; it definitely pushes the envelope more the show ever had the freedom to. A welcome treat that serves as a great continuation of the story of Bell’s signature role. 3.5 out of 5 stars
Check your local listings for showtimes and theaters (click here)