The Neo-noir, mystery drama was cancelled by Warner Bros. back in 2007 after only three seasons, to the dismay of many fans. Creator, Rob Thomas, wrote a feature film script to continue the storyline, but Warner Bros. chose not to fund it at the time.
In the years to follow, the shows fan base (known as Marshmallows) remained strong and pushed, alongside the cast and creators, for the movie to be made. In 2013, creator, Rob Thomas and star Kristen Bell launched a fundraising campaign to produce the film through Kickstarter. They immediately exceeded all expectations by rising over $2 million in less than ten hours and eventually raised $5.7 million through Kickstarter alone. Production began on the film in the following months.
The film was released last weekend and opened to $2 million at the box office. It was distributed theatrically in 291 cinemas across the globe by Warner Bros. and was also made available through digital download, free for Kickstarter backers who had contributed over $35 to the campaign.
Review: *Minor spoilers to follow*
So is it a hit? In short, it was a real treat for fans but probably isn’t something I would go and see had I never seen an episode of Veronica Mars.
Although the script does an excellent job of explaining the background preceding the movie and you could certainly get it and enjoy it without having watched the series, I am not sure it works quite as well as a standalone film. You need to understand the characters and have a connection with them to really see the full picture behind this film. However, it was never really made with the intention of appealing to non-marshmallows, so this is expected.
For fans, the film certainly delivered. The plot sees Veronica return to her home town of Neptune, California after hearing Logan is in trouble and many old faces make an appearance, including; Logan Echolls, Dick Casablancas, Wallace Fennel, Cindy ‘Mac’ Mackenzie, Stosh “Piz” Piznarski, Eli ‘Weevil’ Navarro and of course, fan favourite, Keith Mars, Veronica’s father. There are also a handful of cameos from the likes of James Franco and Kristen’s off-screen husband Dax Shepard.
Rob Thomas’s writing stays true to that of the original series with unexpected twists and turns keeping the audience on the edge of their seat throughout. The very familiar comedic charm of the series also remains unchanged and there are tons of genuinely hilarious, laugh out loud, moments. The highlight of the film, however, for me and for most fans was seeing Kristen Bell reprise her role as the sharp-witted, charming PI. Her performance makes it hard to believe any time has passed since Veronica Mars last aired.
Overall, I think I would have to give this film two different ratings; that of a fan and a non fan.
As a fan I’d give it 4.5/5
For a non fan I’d give it 3/5
Check out the trailer below!