Well, the Veronica Mars movie finally arrived in theaters last Friday, March 14. The husband was working late that entire weekend and we couldn’t get to the only theater showing it in our area until Tuesday, March 18, so on opening night, I decided to draw up a bath and watch my digital copy of the movie from the comfort of my own bathroom. And really, is there a better place to watch a movie than from a bath tub, lol? It probably could’ve only been made better with a glass of wine.
So, what did I think of it? I loved it. It wasn’t perfect, but it felt like the Veronica Mars we knew and loved. All of the characters – with one exception – felt like they ended up exactly as we imagined they would or wanted them to ten years post-Neptune. None of the dialogue felt out-of-character and the plot, as simple as it was, was just enough for us to dip our toes into Veronica’s world again and want to drive right back in.
The plot, for anyone who doesn’t know by now – because yes, like every single other freaking thing lately, I’m way behind on this post – is as follows: Veronica now lives in New York City and is prepping to take the Bar exam while interviewing for a job at a high powered law firm run by Jamie Lee Curtis. She’s still dating Piz, her partner-in-crime in her infamous end-of-Season-3 sex tape. Everything is happy and dandy in Veronica’s life until she sees a news broadcast about the murder of her old high school acquaintance Carrie Bishop (Leighton Meester in the series, but recast as some new singer chick who didn’t really impress me at all). Carrie is now a drug addicted pop singer known under the stage name “Bonnie deVille.” Turns out, after the series ended, Carrie started dating none other than Logan Echolls, Veronica’s former boyfriend/arrogant prick heartthrob and currently a reformed member of the United States Navy. Logan, after being caught arguing with Carrie on tape, is murder suspect numero uno. Despite not having seen Logan in nine years, Veronica can’t say no to him when he calls her asking for help. So, she flies back to Neptune and all of its corrupt glory to help a hottie out. And thus, the fun begins.
And it really is a lot of fun. At least, I thought it was. Keith is still fighting the good fight and his banter with Veronica felt just like going home again (“Would you say I was a good father?”). Wallace and Mac’s futures ended up exactly would I’d have expected, with Wallace as a teacher at Neptune (Veronica: “I’m hoping you can get me a student’s permanent file…” Wallace: “You do know I’m a teacher now, right?” Veronica: “So what you’re saying is it will be easier for you to get it?”) and Mac making an obscene amount of money working for – gasp – Kane Software. Madison & co. are still stuck in high school bitch mode while Dick is still, well, the same Dick we all know and loved. I think he’s toned down a lot in the movie, which makes him much more tolerable and less over-the-top than he became over the course of the series. My favorite exchange of the movie is between Dick and Veronica. I laughed out loud both times I watched it:
Veronica: “Words with Friends?”
Dick: “Some people just call it texting.”
There were some surprises that I didn’t see coming: Logan joining the Navy, for one. It still feels out of character for Logan, but hey, we all change and mature over a decade and I certainly did not end up doing what I thought I’d be doing ten years ago. The most pleasant surprise was Weevel’s future, but I’ll leave that spoiler-free.
One thing I didn’t like was the casting change of Carrie Bishop. I really wasn’t a fan of the new actress, even though we only saw her in flashback. I’m guessing there’s some behind-the-scenes reason that Leighton Meester didn’t return, but I wish she had. I’ve seen some criticism that the movie was “blah” or that it wasn’t very friendly towards Veronica newbies. I didn’t find it “blah.” The plot was simple and appropriate for anyone who hasn’t visited Neptune in seven years. If it were darker and more complicated a la Seasons 1 & 2 of the series, then critics would be complaining that it was too difficult to follow. Also, it was made on a smaller budget in less than a year. Veronica Mars, at the end of the day, was always a story about a witty, young detective fighting for justice in her corrupt town. That’s pretty much exactly what the movie was about. Was it unfriendly towards those who hadn’t seen the show? A bit, yes. But, I do have to point out a few things:
- The movie was financed largely by fans and made for those fans.
- The complete series was offered free streaming via Amazon for quite some time before the movie’s release. I believe some of it was also offered for free on iTunes beforehand as well, though I could be remembering that wrong. Regardless, if anyone wanted to see the movie, they had plenty of time to catch up with all three seasons.
- My husband, who has only seen Season 1 and parts of Season 2, didn’t have a problem following the plot at all. He did not get all of the references, like the sex tape, but he enjoyed the movie enough to be inspired to watch Season 2 after we saw it.
One other thing worth noting for fans – if you’ve seen the movie, are you Team Logan or Team Piz? The movie tells me I should be Team Piz, but I can’t help it. I’m Team Logan, through and through.
At the end of the day, I really enjoyed Veronica Mars. I think it was set up well for a sequel – so many things that need to be fixed. Who killed [redacted for spoiler]? Can we reverse Weevel’s fate at the end of the movie? WHAT ABOUT PIZ?! I really, really, really hope we get a sequel to address some of those loose threads. I could use a lot more of Veronica Mars in my life.
So, what did you think? Am I alone in my enjoyment of the movie or anyone out there agree with me?