"A long time ago, we used to be friends, but I haven't thought of you lately at all." Those words, rang out with the opening credits to every episode of Veronica Mars, a show that lasted a mere 3 seasons, but provided the fans with 64 episodes of happiness. The show was at times cheesy, but it always had a certain level of wit that was sorely lacking in many TV shows.
A bit of a caveat going into this review. I just had knee surgery two days ago, and have been taking a little bit of pain medication. So, if I am incoherent, or rambling, I apologize.
I will admit, with some sadness, that I never got to see the show when it was airing on TV. To be honest, when it was airing, I didn't watch a lot of TV at all. I owe my entire obsession with this TV show (and the movie that is coming out soon) to one Mr. Joseph Dunn. It is likely many of you have no clue who Mr. Dunn is, and I don't blame you. He is the man behind one of my favorite webcomics, and his obsession with Veronica Mars led me to go out and purchase the first season on DVD. Might be worth mentioning that Joe actually drew me into a comic once, the image is there, click on it to be taken to the comic.
No sooner had I watched the first season, then I rushed out to the store and got the next two. I do not believe I have ever binge-watched a series faster than I binge-watched Veronica Mars. The show was just about perfect. The show ended on a somewhat unsatisfying note, though. For years, I have waited for a chance to see how the show was going to play out. When the Kickstarter campaign launched, I jumped on the opportunity to back it.
Now, here we are. Mars and Neptune have once again come into alignment. Once again, familiar faces are brought before us, like long lost friends. It was a glorious feeling seeing all these characters back up on the big screen again. And as a fan of the series, I couldn't be happier. This was almost exactly the movie I wanted to see. It had highs and lows, and the classic Veronica wit that I have been sorely missing for these last several years. This is a movie that is made for the fans, and it shows.
Throughout the movie, there are multiple sly winks, and references to various bits of Veronica's past. They even make a small reference to the unaired pitch for the 4th season in which Veronica ended up joining the FBI. If you were a fan of the show, you will without a doubt love the movie.
For the rest of you, it might be a bit of a hard sell. The story of a teenage detective, that spent her high school years trying to solve mysteries might seem a little Scooby Doo, to some. Especially when it is noted that one of her companions during these crime-fighting sessions was a dog. But, the characters were fun, with enough levity and gravity to keep the show in the proper zone where it wasn't too light, and never too dark. The gravity of the cases she solved were counterbalanced with a sense of wit that felt natural, and never forced. It did suffer from the teen drama cliche of "Pretty White Kids with Problems", but managed to fight against that mold by including several minority characters in prominent roles,
The movie is a perfect extension of the show. Years down the line, actors slipped back into familiar rolls as if they had been playing them the entire time. All in all, it was a fantastic ride, that I encourage everyone to participate in.
However, I would be remiss if I didn't point out some of the flaws in the movie. Those characters we all loved so much from the show, Weevil, Mac, Keith, hell even Vinnie.... All show up as little more than extended cameos.This movie focuses it's short runtime on Veronica, and if you wanted to spend time catching up with the others you are mostly out of luck. Things happen to the other characters almost as a means to get them out of the limelight so that Veronica can get back to work. It is incredibly sad to see so many great potential stories shoved off into the periphery. On the plus side, it does give me hope that there is room for a sequel.
RECOMMENDATION: If you were a fan of the show, get out there and watch it. But, I'm sure I don't have to tell you that. If you aren't familiar with the movie, and are an Amazon Prime member, go out there, and watch the series, and then get the movie! The movie was fun, and to be honest, I am watching it again as I type this.
IS IT THEATER WORTHY? Honestly, I think watching this on the big screen with a bunch of other fans is half the joy of the movie. Sure, it can be enjoyed at home (and there will be a link at the bottom so you can do that) but this is a movie made by the community, and should be enjoyed with other people.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This is the film that the Marshmallows made possible. We fought hard, we waited, and we never gave up hope. At the end of the day, this project is a work of passion, it is a testament to the love the fans had for the characters. This is our movie, and if we want to see more, we need to get out there, and let the studios know!
FINAL SCORE: 8.5 out of 10