Movie Review: Veronica Mars

STARRING: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino, Percy Daggs III, Krysten Ritter, Gaby Hoffman, Martin Starr, Ryan Hansen, Jerry O’Connell, Frances Capra, Sam Huntington, Max Greenfield, Ken Marino, Eden Sher, James Franco, Eddie Jemison, Dax Shepard, Justin Long, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kyle Bornheimer

DIRECTED BY: Rob Thomas

Interesting fact about me. I’ve never watched an episode of Veronica Mars. I’m familiar with it, and I could point out at least a few of the cast members who I knew were regulars on Veronica Mars, and then a few others I had to check on. Kudos on bringing back Krysten Ritter who was only in 8 episodes of Veronica Mars, and giving her character such a large arc, also Sam Huntington who shot only 2 episodes of Veronica Mars. Other people appear in those “OMG, I totally forgot we went to high school together” roles.

The good news is that the movie isn’t hard to follow for people who are unfamiliar with the series, but at least lightly familiar with the general concept of the show. Teenage private eye grows up, becomes a lawyer, but in her heart… she’s still a detective. Veronica is roped back into “the life” this time because her long lost love Logan is suspected of murdering his girlfriend, also a classmate of Veronica’s from high school (though Leighton Meester who actually played Carrie Bishop in the show doesn’t return for the film). Side note- What’s going on with Leighton Meester? Carrie Bishop actually had some screentime in flashbacks, so why couldn’t she come back to send off her character? Christine Lakin (who played Susan Knight on Veronica Mars) returned basically to just shoot a few photographs for the film, with the new Carrie Bishop. Was this film beneath Meester?

Anyway, the plot of the film revolves around who killed Carrie Bishop. You know it isn’t Logan, largely because Jason Dohring is so void of any personality in this movie that he couldn’t possibly kill anyone… or anything. He is wallpaper. If Kristen Bell wasn’t so damned charming, this film would be a wash. The plot is OK, but it’s nothing mind blowing, nor is it so incredibly difficult to figure out who her killer is. Veronica basically narrows it down to a few people, and you can basically guess whodunnit pretty fast.

The film relies heavily on Kristen Bell to be snarky, likeable, and interesting enough so that her screen partner Jason Dohring can look like a wax figurine at a museum. Smile Jason, the camera’s recording you. Good Jason. Here’s a treat.

Veronica Mars made the leap to the big screen, which is a huge feat. Fans of other beloved series now can hope that they one day can fund their own big-screen adaptation of their fan favorite series. With an Entourage movie around the corner, anything can happen, right? Right, Community?

But Veronica Mars never feels like the movie you have to see on the big screen. Rather, it could have just been a TV movie, a reunion of sorts to help Veronica Mars fans feel some closure. What happened to Veronica after she left Neptune? Well.. now you know. Hopefully, you didn’t spend 35 dollars to find out.

FINAL GRADE: C+ (mostly because Jason Dohring is like a walking mannequin)

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