Shannon O’Connor ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor-in-Chief
Veronica Mars is back; armed with her stun gun, razor sharp wit and all.
It has been ten years since the teenage sleuth walked the halls of Neptune High and nearly seven years since Rob Thomas’ savvy and smart television drama left the small screen.
With an unsatisfying series finale after three seasons on the air, fans were eager for a new chapter in Veronica’s life. While hope seemed bleak for the return of the teenage private eye, a Kickstarter campaign led by Veronica Mars creator Thomas and star Kristen Bell last March resurrected the cult series.
While the film does not pick up right after the series finale, fans of the series and newbies to the Neptune, California universe are given a quick two minute overview of the series that also serves as an excellent lead-in to the film.
Ten years have passed since Veronica (Kristen Bell) graduated Neptune High. She is now a high powered lawyer in New York City who left the life of private investigation and Neptune behind her. Living a lavish and drama-free life with her college boyfriend Stosh “Piz” Piznarski (Chris Lowell), Veronica has it all.
Then as usual, disaster strikes.
Veronica’s old flame Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) is pinned for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, pop-star Bonnie Deville aka Carrie Bishop (Andrea Estella, but originally Leighton Meester in the series).
In order to help Logan weed out potential lawyers, Veronica returns to Neptune. Once there, however, the short trip she thought she was embarking on becomes much longer as she is drawn back into the seedy world she once left behind. Faced with tough decisions, something very familiar to Veronica, she must decide the fate of both her professional and personal life.
Avid Veronica Mars fans will find the film to be an extremely satisfying new chapter; while newbies to the series will find it an entertaining stand alone film. Although, there are many inside jokes only fans of the series will understand, the sarcastic wit of Veronica Mars is universally enjoyable.
Bell shines as she falls right back into the quick witted and no-nonsense teenage private eye that fans adore. This time, however, she also brings a sense of maturity to the role that conveys Veronica’s hesitancy to leave her private detective world behind and her indecision to fall back into her old routine.
Dohring makes his “epic” return as the tortured millionaire Logan Echolls, whose sensitive side is spotlighted over his tough-guy exterior. While a lot of the characters have matured over the years, Ryan Hansen’s Dick Casablancas has not changed a day since Neptune High and serves as a constant source of comic relief throughout the film.
While Dohring and Hansen shine in their perspective roles, the scene-stealer is Krysten Ritter who reprises her role of Gia Goodman (a character mainly featured in season two of the series). Ritter commands the screen in every scene she is in and displays impressive vulnerability in multiple scenes throughout the film.
All in all, Rob Thomas and company provide new and old fans with a compelling new chapter to Veronica’s story, while keeping intact the thrilling and witty elements of the series.
Overall Grade: A-