by Diana Vaccarelli
I have never watched the television show VERONICA MARS, but the premise of the film intrigued me.
After a very successful Kickstarter campaign, Rob Thomas, the creator and showrunner of the series, has brought us this feature-length sequel. In the film, Veronica, now living in New York and interviewing for prestigious jobs at law firms, is pulled back into the life of a private eye when her ex-boyfriend, Logan Echolls, becomes embroiled in a murder mystery involving old high school friend Carrie Bishop.
Kirsten Bell stars as the super private eye just as she did in the series. She’s good, but as a fan who loved her in FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL, I expected better. She she does have good chemistry with Jason Dohring, who reprises his role as Logan, and they play off each other well. But overall, the acting in the film is subpar. Every major cast member I’ve seen before has been better before than they were here.
The signs point to this being a Rob Thomas problem. Thomas both wrote and directed, and while the script provides the actors with plenty of witty and comedic dialogue to contrast with a rather dark story, the story itself is unconvincing. Possibly even to the cast.
Why, for example, did Veronica so easily give up the New York life she worked so hard for? Why was I supposed to care about the small town sheriff booted from office because of corruption?
And where are the twists and surprises we expect from a good mystery? To be sure, we’re presented with a number of subplots which could have been interesting, but most of them end up as loose ends seemingly existing only to distract us from the fact that VERONICA MARS takes a very predictable plot path and even ends exactly as I expected it to.
If you are a fan of the show, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the film and be glad to see the return of familiar fictional friends. But as someone who didn’t watch, its lack of originality was a huge disappointment, especially in a genre where the whole point is to keep the audience guessing.