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.