Veronica Mars Screen 10 articles

Veronica Mars

2014

Veronica Mars Poster
  • As a 2 parter from the show (which seems what it wants to be) it is plagued with a lot of bad decisions (the worst of which is framing the whole thing as being about Veronica as an addict sliping back into her old vices which is a truly terrible idea), no narrative momentum... way too many detours to include returning characters and underusing Veronica’s relationship with her dad which always served the show better than her boy troubles which this predictably focus on.

  • Veronica Mars the movie is a nostalgia trip — more a "very special episode" than a genuinely cinematic experience — and it also provides a good case study for the stylistic differences between television and movies... Those less familiar [with the show] may be put off by the awkwardly on-the-nose dialogue, or the occasionally catty back-and-forth that never quite rings true.

  • Though the script is too often guilty of mistaking sarcasm for wit, and the supporting cast are weak across the board, Bell reprises her breakthrough role with an infectious swagger that's hard to resist... While it's likeable enough, its inability to escape its TV trappings means it will be forgotten quickly by those who aren't already members of Team Mars.

  • That the theatrical release feels like a wrong move isn’t about the nominal limitations of television, but rather its strengths. The original series hasn’t aged; rather, like all good TV it feels perfectly preserved, like a butterfly in amber... Even without another episode to look forward to — and then another and another — their homecoming never sits right. Everything feels forced, from Veronica’s almost compulsive snappy patter to a class reunion that includes a sex tape and a brawl.

  • This particular mystery isn’t terribly compelling, which is what prevents Veronica Mars from functioning as an effective stand-alone movie for neophytes (though it’s a damn sight more accessible than the first X-Files movie was). Fans will get what they desire, though... and the film replicates the show’s distinctive flavor so well that it’s likely to eventually send some casual home viewers scurrying to find the series box sets.

  • Anyone who has ever loved a television show can see that Thomas and his crew are working overtime to give VM aficionados everything they want. Up to a point, their desire to please is infectious, even to those (like yours truly) who wouldn’t know characters like Weevil or Dick Casablancas from Adam. Bell takes to her signature role with wisecracking ease, and her scenes with Dohring crackle with the kind of emo Mulder/Scully tension that inspires a million slash fictions.

  • Director Rob Thomas caters directly to fans of the 2004-'07 cable series (as well he should have; they funded the film through Kickstarter); this big-screen version packs in as many old characters as possible, and a few of the series' most famous lines are repeated word for word. The uninitiated may not go for the all-too-convenient crime solving, melodramatic love triangle, and playful banter, but cultists will find all the show's pleasures intact.

  • Every cameo appearances feels organic. No callback feels forced. As a nostalgia trip, and a valentine to the virtues of its terrific source material, Veronica Mars gets the job done. As a whodunit, however, it leaves a bit to be desired... Veronica Mars plays like a very solid episode of the series, the kind unlikely to rank among fan favorites.

  • For all its references to the show's history, the film never panders. It's an evolution of the core concept as opposed to a nostalgia-tinged reproduction, and is all the better for it... As with the show, the film's strengths are tied to the characters, their relationships and interactions, and their respective roles in the vividly realized culture of Neptune. The old dynamics are quickly rekindled and the crisp, witty dialogue flies back and forth with abandon.

  • All in all, the movie delivers what you expect, but not in the way you expect it. That makes it work as both a long-delayed if abbreviated fourth chapter in Veronica's story, and a rare big-screen version of a TV show that rethinks its source rather than merely recycling it.