Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Veronica Mars, she’s a movie star


Almost seven years and one Kickstarter later, the “Veronica Mars” movie has become a reality.

You remember “Veronica Mars” right? Well, maybe not. The show was never a ratings juggernaut, usually garnering around three million viewers per episode. But the show had one thing on its side – fans that would stand with it through anything. The devotion to teen sleuth Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) ran deep. The show was unlike anything on television at the time – a noir mystery series set primarily in a high school. The show was dark and emotional, filled with quick-witted dialogue and a whole lot of heart.

In 2007 the series was cancelled, with paltry ratings cited as the reason. The show ended irresolute, leaving many fans clamoring for what happened next.  Bell and creator Rob Thomas never let go of Veronica either, and on March 14, 2013, an announcement came – a film was happening but they needed the fans’ help. With the help of Kickstarter and almost 92,000 fans, the movie garnered far more than it asked for and exactly a year later we were treated to a movie. It’s improbable that this happened at all, but now that it’s here it’s time to revel in the little movie that could.

The story picks up nine years after we last saw Veronica and the gang. Ms. Mars is preparing to take the bar exam, dating Stosh Piznarski (Chris Lowell) and leading a pretty decent life in New York City. But if we know our Veronica we know that she is bored. The girl we knew was a thrill seeker – a self-professed “adrenaline junkie” – so how long could she sustain this life of utter normalcy? Not long, it seems. Pop star Bonnie DeVille’s murder and her ex-boyfriend Logan’s (Jason Dohring) implication, leads her back to her old life in Neptune, California, much to her faux chagrin.

Veronica soon finds herself pulled back into the life she once led in the little beachfront town that is more corrupt than ever. She compares solving crimes to a drug she gave up long, long ago – but what’s so wrong with a little taste? A “farewell tour” if you will? It seems in all of her years off she hasn’t lost the touch. She doesn’t miss a beat as the mystery unravels and a season’s worth of drama, action and quips unfolds before her. Mac (Tina Majorino) and Wallace (Percy Daggs III) are back in the mix to help their girl put the pieces together, as they did in the show’s original run.

Viewers are treated to a cavalcade of callbacks to the original series throughout the film, most notably during the high school reunion scene. Thomas managed to get almost every original cast member back into the mix in some capacity. It’s amazingly nostalgic to watch all of these actors interact again. It’s hard not to imagine that their 10-year high school reunion is your own, surrounded by the characters that flooded your TV screen for a few years (and probably your laptop screen all these years later). It’s cathartic, and it is the kind of closure every “Veronica Mars” fan never got and always needed.

As terrific as the film was, it was not without its flaws. The story takes place over 1 hour and 47 minutes but it’s hard not to think how well this would have done as a 22-episode television show. With less than 2 hours to tell a cohesive story, viewers get a quick-paced film with a mystery that seems inconsequential at times and not as fleshed out as it could have been.

The film also seems exclusive to those who watched the series, and in very many ways that is true. It makes sense considering it was the fans that funded the film. The first eight minutes treat newbies to a condensed version of what “Veronica Mars” was all about, but it doesn’t quite get the job done. While it introduces the characters and the world, it doesn’t prepare new viewers for the immense amount of subtle, and not-so-subtle, callbacks to the original series. It isn’t impossible to enjoy the film without watching the show, but it sure makes it a bit more difficult.

The “Veronica Mars” movie isn’t one to be missed and neither is the series, which should be watched by all. And if you can’t get to a theater to see it, a digital copy is already available for purchase via many digital retailers, like iTunes and Amazon. Oh, and if you check it out stay past the credits, you’ll thank me (and James Franco) later.

Alexa Hoyle can be reached at [email protected].

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • R

    Rena MorettiMar 26, 2014 at 7:25 pm

    Another point of view: Veronica Mars was an ineptly produced, poorly-written and poorly cast show that ended up, for good reason, being the lowest-rated network show of its era.

    The fact that Rob Thomas is as good as empty PR as he is bad at writing and producing and that he orchestrated a fake Kickstarter campaign (he already had the money lined up) to generate admiring press when he can’t generate viewers doesn’t change that fact for me.