Veronica Mars (2014)

The movie that Kickstarter gave us is finally here, and it’s pretty great to see Veronica Mars back and in action. I fondly recall following “Veronica Mars” during season two after I grabbed a hold of season one and tore through the entire freshman year in one sitting. Like many series before it, “Veronica Mars” is one of the more under appreciated crime dramas that never got its due, despite a loyal fan following and critical acclaim. Thankfully creator Rob Thomas is finally able to put his love child to bed, and give fans the sign off we’ve been pleading for, for years.

Almost the entire cast is back for “Veronica Mars” ten years later, where Veronica, once the aspiring gum shoe, is now up for a life changing job at a law firm. Nearly tarnished by a sex tape during her time at Neptune, Veronica is still the spit fire and quick witted Amazon who lands on her feet in every situation no matter how awkward or dangerous. After a decade of avoiding returning to her town of Neptune where she and her father were cast out as pariahs, Veronica is faced with fate once again. After an old high school friend is found dead in her bathtub,

Veronica finds it impossible to step back and let nature takes its course, especially when old boyfriend Logan asks for her help. Veronica Mars is thankfully still Veronica Mars, and she decides she has to figure out why this death is so suspicious. Fans of the series will be happy to find out that much hasn’t changed since Veronica left Neptune. Much to her chagrin though the best things have changed while the worst have stayed exactly the same. The town is still corrupt, the citizens are still upper class jellyfish with walk in closets filled with skeletons, and people still mock Keith Mars.

Thankfully though Veronica maintains her sharp edge and stride, while also sticking by her close friends Mac (Man, Tina Majorino is sexy) and Wallace (Percy Diggs III is still cool as hell), while her dad Keith still hovers over her protectively. Beyond Veronica I was thrilled to see Enrico Colantoni return in the role that he embraced and made his own from episode one. Keith is an all around noble and stand up guy whose managed to devote his time helping the people of Neptune despite weathering their barbs and insults. Keith Mars is the heart of the Veronica Mars series, and it’s a joy to see him return to such an excellent character.

Much of “Veronica Mars” feels like a special episode of the series that holds some surprises for the backers and fans of the movie, while also reaching farther beyond the episode’s trappings. It’s not so close to the series where you feel you’re just watching a glorified series finale, but it’s close enough to where fans can feel as if they’re reuniting with an old friend of theirs. Kristen Bell doesn’t miss a beat as Veronica Mars, returning to the skin of this independent, strong, and resourceful gumshoe who is in no shortage of accents, and gags that help her solve a case.

Veronica Mars is one of the best pop culture heroines of the last fourteen years, and it’s because Bell imbues within her a fire in her belly that makes it impossible for her to be a simple bystander. Director and series creator Rob Thomas really delivers on his promise of a film adaptation that gives the fans the closure they’ve wanted for years, while also offering a very clever crime drama for general audiences interested in Kristen Bell kicking ass and solving murders.