As someone who never watched a single episode of Veronica Mars, I couldn't help wondering what all the fuss was about. How did it develop such an intense following and what's with this fervent devotion to Kristen Bell? I mean, she's a nice girl and all, but what the heck? I approached the movie (funded through Kickstarter by The People) with a sense of skeptical curiosity, and fully expected to feel out of the loop. I liked it immediately. I liked Veronica herself about twenty minutes later. And shortly after that I was ready to join the cult of Veronica Mars.
Handily, the Veronica Mars movie takes place nine years after the series ends, so it seems only natural that Veronica would share the story of how she became a teenage private detective. She then goes on to recap the nine intervening years, and we find her all grown up and ready to join a law firm in New York City. All of this unfolds within the first few minutes, bringing even the most clueless viewer (i.e. me) right up to speed and ready to go. As she stands poised to launch her career and begin a new life with her devoted boyfriend Piz, Veronica is drawn back to her hometown when a former classmate/starlet is found murdered. Veronica's ex-boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring) is the prime suspect, and it seems only right to help him find a decent lawyer. In the meantime she can spend some quality time with her dad (Enrico Colantoni), catch up with a few old friends, and NOT go to her high school reunion.
Once home, Veronica quickly falls into detective mode, leaving the life she had worked to build far behind. She knows Logan didn't kill Bonnie DeVille, but there are plenty of suspicious characters who might have had something to do with it. Ruby Jetson (Gaby Hoffman) certainly seems unhinged enough to have bumped her off, and there are plenty of other unlikable characters from Veronica's high school who could have played a part in the singer's death. And doesn't it seem strange that three perfectly healthy classmates have died before the age of thirty? As Veronica banters with her dad, hangs out with her old friends, discovers feelings for her ex, and braves the reunion she vowed to miss, she picks up clues, one by one, until a full picture of "who done it" emerges in her mind.
It should come as no surprise that this clever girl solves the mystery, but the journey (as fans already know) is what makes it all worthwhile. There's darkness, comedy, intrigue, and peril all rolled into one package and delivered to us by a complicated character with an acerbic wit. That's a rare mix these days, and writer/director Rob Thomas manages to infuse reality and humanity into a popcorn plot. I can't speak for the most devoted of fans, but the movie made this reviewer hop onto Netflix to order up Season 1 so she could go back and begin at the beginning.
Special Features include making-of featurettes with the cast and crew, deleted scenes, and more.