Veronica Mars review (DVD)

Movies based on TV shows are not that uncommon, but this one had a more interesting genesis than most by being crowdfunded by fans on Kickstarter.

The film picks up a few years after the end of the TV series (obviously). Veronica (Bell) has moved to New York, graduated law school and is just about to start work for a big firm when she gets a call from ex-boyfriend Logan (Dohring) saying he has been arrested for the murder of his current squeeze, the pop star Bonnie DeVille, real name Carrie Bishop (Andrea Estella) – another of Veronica's old high school pals. So back to Neptune, California, she heads to ... and finds herself up to her pretty neck in a goodl old-fashioned murder mystery.

I never watched the Veronica Mars TV series (though I have seen a couple of episodes here and there) but coming to the movie without knowing all the backstory was not a problem. Although the film was made very much for the fans - hell, they are the ones who put up the $6 million that it cost to make - it's easy enough to follow the plot without having seen the show at all. OK, there are probably a million references and in-jokes that you won't get, but the plot is straight-forward enough to follow without knowing all the history.

The best thing about the movie (and, from what I understand, the TV series too) is the writing. It's sharp, witty and clever, so it's no wonder that pretty much the whole original cast has returned. And as it's a sort-of reunon movie, there's a nice little subplot involving Veronica's 10-year high school reunion, too. As a big fan of Bel;l - who I know primarily for her ascerbic turn as the sceming Jeannie Van Der Hooven in House of Lies - it's nice to see her reprising the role that made her famous.

It does feel more like an extended epiosde of the TV series than a movie, but that's not really a flaw. Fans will find themselves slipping comfortably back into creator Rob Thomas's intriguing, melodramatic small-tow world. And others, like myself, will find themselves wanting to go and watch the original series. If this movie is anything to go by, it's a must-see.

EXTRAS ★★★ A terrific behind the scenes documentary, By The Fans: The Making of the Veronica Mars Movie (53:45), which details the Kickstarter campaign and the film's production.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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