This weekend David and I got to watch the Veronica Mars movie. I have to say I knew that I was going to want to own the movie so I decided to buy it straight out and I was not disappointed. I have watched all the seasons and loved the show when it was on. This movie was the perfect blend of insider jokes and nodes to the fans with a decent story for those who have not watched the show before. I read a couple of movie reviews, but I think many of the complaints against the movie come from not understanding really why it was being made. Now I understand judging the movie as just a movie, but the circumstances under which this movie got made presented a very different purpose for the story being created.
For the Fans
This movie started out as a Kickstarter campaign and got amazing support. When you have fans supporting the creation of the film then you better make the movie for the fans. There is no doubt in my mind that they accomplished just that. There are great references for insiders of the show and they brought back all of our favorite characters and situations. It was so good to see all of our favorite cast of characters back again and to see what happened to our favorite sleuth. There were a couple moments in particular that stood out to me in terms of fan service. One was having a guy singing in the streets and he was singing the theme song to the show. It was such a subtle thing happening in the background that you could practically miss it.
The other one is specifically for people who have watched the season 3 DVDs. Veronica meets up with Deputy Leo (an ex-boyfriend) who is now a part of the San Diego Police Department. A small comment is made where Leo says he thought that Veronica had joined the FBI. Now in the movie they continue from the end of season 3 by saying that Veronica transferred to Stanford and then went on to Columbia law to become a lawyer. Originally there had been a thought of showing Veronica in the FBI and they had even filmed a little bit of that story. It is viewable on the season 3 DVD. Again it was such a small moment, but it made me happy that they acknowledged it.
Even with all of the little insider secrets they still told a decent story. What draws the fans in at first is simply being able to see Veronica Mars on the screen again, but then we pretty quickly hear about a mysterious death and someone saying they are being framed. The story moves along as we find out more and more information about what happened and who was involved. The main mystery is one of murder and the case moves forward in a fairly predictable pattern. As Veronica finds out more information she dives further and further in unable to just walk away.
At the same time that this is all happening they are also reintroducing us to the standard operating procedures that occur in Neptune with the Sheriff’s department. We see people getting frisked for no reason and hear a lot about planted evidence and misconduct. We see this going on in the background and Veronica’s father ends up working on that case, although problems arise there as well. In some ways this feels like almost a sidetrack, but it gives part of the reason that Veronica cannot back down from the case because she cannot let the corrupt police win. She tried to run away from everything happening in Neptune, but she cannot ignore it when she does get to see it again.
So I think one of the best descriptions of the Veronica Mars movie is that it is a love letter to the fans or expertly written fanfic. It is not over the top it is taken a logically continuation of the story that had already been told with the perfect sprinkling fan service. The one interesting thing I found, although I did not miss him at the time, was that Duncan never showed up. In so many ways they had finished with his story so there was no reason to have him show up, but at the same time they were still able to include his mother with a cameo in the movie. The thing to remember about this movie is that it was made for the fans and in that I think they succeeded. It will become part of the sequence for doing a full re-watch of Veronica Mars.