'Veronica Mars' - Movie Review

I thought the first season of the "Veronica Mars" TV show was utterly brilliant. Okay, a high school with six murders a year is a bit improbable (these things apparently happen in the fictional Neptune, California), but the dialogue was incredibly sharp and funny and the plot was beautifully structured. But the second season ... more of the same, but not as good. And the third - I never watched that. I'm not spending 18 hours of my life on a season that even the hard-core fans didn't much like. Which also means that I was missing one third of the mythology of the story when I started watching, for example I had no idea who "Piz" was - the man that Veronica is now dating, who appeared in the third season.

The movie was Kickstarted by the fan base, with all that implies.

It opens with Veronica (still Kristen Bell) in New York city, interviewing for a job with a law firm (run by Jamie Lee Curtis, wasted in what amounted to a bit part) as Veronica is now a lawyer. But guess what - back in Neptune, Logan (Jason Dohring) is accused of murder. Again. And even though they've had no contact for nine years, he reaches out to her. Again. And back in Neptune, everything is almost exactly the same. Rob Thomas (the series creator and director) manages to dredge up almost every single actor who was in the original series, with a loving nod to each. Wouldn't it have been lovely if Veronica solved a new case in a new place with new characters? In a new style? No, we're dragged back to Neptune and all the trappings of high school, including a reunion (season 3 was at college - this feels more like high school again).

One of the things that impressed me the most about Season 1 was the dialogue: it was incredibly sharp-edged and intelligent. They try here, as they tried in Season 2, but the writing just isn't as good. And I admit that a chunk of what bothers me about the movie is the personal choices Veronica makes during the several days she's back in Neptune - choices that may make fans happy - but my biggest problem was that this felt like a series repeat. The differences being weaker writing, the actors are older, the plot was a little too convoluted for the short run-time, and there was a totally unnecessary cameo by James Franco. All together, a really poor movie.