About a year ago, fans of the Dandy Warhols and choker necklaces collectively praised God for the return of the of Veronica Mars, the beloved early aughts mystery show with one perfect season and two more seasons. Powered by Kickstarter and the undeniable charm of Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars found a new home on the big screen and saw its world premiere at SXSW. Ever since the project was announced, many wondered if the film would be as charming and engrossing as the original series or would it just be prostituted fan wanking devoid of humanity.
Unfortunately, it’s the latter. The film reads less as a continuation of the rich story the series was able to create in the 60+ episodes and more like big budget fan fiction. Picking up ten years after the show ended, Veronica Mars has left Neptune for New York City to become a high powered lawyer (even though it was established in a post series ashore that she actually joined the FBI, which is remarked upon in the film slyly). Her ex lover Logan Echols is charged with the murder of his pop star ex girlfriend, so Mars returns to her hometown in an effort to clear his name and find the true murderer. Along the way, everyone from her past makes an appearance, and seems to have grown up in the best way possible.
As Veronica Mars translates to the big screen, the stakes seem to have inversely shrunk. The murder plot plays second fiddle to the vast number cameos, inside jokes, and winks at the audience. There are no real stakes or motivation for Veronica until at least the end of the second act at which point everything bad comes down on her. She loses her high powered law job offer, ends her relationship with her perfect boyfriend Piz, has her friend and father get horribly hospitalized all within 10 minutes. It’s as if director/screenwriter Rob Thomas realized the movie Veronica had no humanity and decided to “oh the humanity” her all at once.
Internet fandom is a fickle beast. Storytelling is denial and love is always just a grasp away. When all of your wishes are fulfilled, nothing is interesting anymore. For many, Veronica Mars was a perfect capsule that could be cherished. Now with this movie that gives you everything you want, there’s nothing left to need.