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Veronica Mars: James Franco is in everything!

Veronica Mars


Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland

She thought she was out
Image from Warner Bros.

Markus Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Rated PG-13 for sexuality including references, drug content, violence and some strong language

Veronica Mars”, a television show that everyone (aside from anyone I know) had wanted to see up on the big screen, is finally in theaters! As you may or may not be able to tell, I never saw the original show, but on the bright side, that means this may be one of the only unbiased reviews out there.

OK, to be completely honest this production started off as a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign by the show’s creator Rob Thomas (not the singer) where fans raised 5.7 million dollars to essentially get this movie made. In other words, there were a substantial amount of people who wanted to see a “Veronica Mars” film and/or give Kristen Bell more work. But if you’re like me and aren’t really familiar with “Veronica Mars”, allow me to break it down for you. “Veronica Mars” had a television lifespan of three years nearly a decade ago, and is notable for being one of the more famous shows to succumb to premature cancelation. On the show, Bell played the quick witted title character teenager who moonlighted as a private detective in the fictional town of Neptune, California.

Synopsis: Thankfully the movie begins with a quick recap of the TV show, just to give the clueless out there some semblance of reference. Most importantly there is a brief rundown of her relationship with a love interest named Logan. The movie takes place ten years later, as we reconvene with Mars who has since moved away from home and graduated from law school. But as movies with plots go, she is suddenly summoned back to Neptune by Logan, when he becomes the prime suspect in a murder case. Now she must help find the “real” killer. There is also a partially connecting and much less interesting subplot involving the local corrupt police force, but the main storyline is entertaining enough to allow audiences to disregard said flawed secondary story.

My guess is that this movie resembles an elongated television episode, with the addition of an F-bomb for theatrical purposes. That said, there is enough in the plot to entertain fans and novices alike. And that’s all I could really ask for; a movie where you didn’t have to read the book or be invested in the previous non-cinematic material in order to enjoy it.

Final Thought: Written and directed by Thomas himself, the script contains an enticingly dramatic who-done-it type of atmosphere and more than enough welcome chuckles along the way. And with the look and aesthetic feel of an old UPN show, “Veronica Mars” will definitely make fans feel at home. Again, as far as someone who has never seen the show before, I was fairly entertained with the smart dialogue and characters, intriguing mystery and the creative cameos thrown in, but my guess is its cult fan base will be over the moon by the realization that they get to spend nearly two hours back with their old friends in Neptune. I mean, there is actually a fairly long sequence where Veronica walks around her high school reunion running into old characters, which would have undoubtedly worked better for me if I had seen the show. Anyway, while this isn’t a game changer type of film (fundraising methods excluded) it did make me want to Netflix the original episodes and watch them for myself, in order to get ready for the untitled “Veronica Mars” TV spin-off rumored to be in the works.

Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus

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