We catch up with our titular protagonist, played by Kristen Bell, years after she left the private eye business, hoping to change vocation and become a lawyer. However it doesn’t take long before she is tempted into old habits, as she is lured back to her hometown of Neptune, to assist her ex-boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring), who has become the prime suspect in a murder case of a renowned pop star. Although initially offering nothing but advice, as she digs deeper into the tale, secrets of old are unraveled, and she soon finds herself investigating the case much she like she used to have done.
Remaining incredibly faithful to the popular TV series, in that regard it’s a job well done, as those who donated to the Kickstarter project are more than likely to have been fans of the show, and this will appease them no end. That’s not to say that those unacquainted with the world of Veronica Mars will leave dissatisfied, as Thomas ensures we’re dealing with a traditional, murder mystery plot, that’s easy to indulge in regardless of your previous knowledge. Not to mention the exceedingly helpful narration which opens the piece, as Veronica Mars explains her past and provides some context to proceedings. Thomas strikes a fine balance, incredibly aware of any potential audience, as there are various nods and references to characters and stories from episodes been and gone, but they never feel contrived or overbearing in their inclusion.
However the one place where the balance doesn’t quite feel so accomplished, is in the structure and pacing of the piece. Often when taking a TV show and adapting it to the big screen accordingly, one of the greatest challenges is ensuring it’s maximised and enlarged efficiently. However, you couldn’t be blamed for clock-watching in this title, and when we reach the natural point where episodes would conclude, from there on you do feel every minute of that additional time, and tedium regrettably kicks in. Nonetheless, Bell makes sure we maintain our attention, as she’s such a beguiling and charismatic lead. Veronica Mars is a feisty individual, with bags of charm and all of the zinger one-liners. In the meantime, James Franco makes a brief yet wholly entertaining cameo, and though it completely takes you out of the movie for a short while, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
If there is one thing to be said of this picture, it’s to simply enjoy it for what it’s worth. It’s illusory and absurd at the best of times, and considering the entire case is one heavily scrutinised by the press and very much in the public eye, what the leading suspect gets up to is difficult to believe in to say the least. He’s convicted of murder and he’s going out to nightclubs with lookalikes of the deceased victim, and his ex-girlfriend. Let’s just say to truly enjoy this, try not to take it at face value.