Friday, March 14, 2014

We Used to Be Friends, a Long Time Ago

Seven years after going off the air creator Rob Thomas and the cast of Veronica Mars reunite (with the help of an insanely productive Kickstarter campaign) to bring Veronica (Kristen Bell) back to Neptune just in time for her 10 year high-school reunion. Oh, and to help an ex out of a pesky murder charge. It's just like old times, in the best possible way.

The script by Thomas and Diane Ruggiero finds Veronica living with Piz (Chris Lowell) in New York and interviewing for jobs at prestigious law firms when a voice from the past reaches out in need of help. Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) is the lead suspect in the murder of his girlfriend (Andrea Estella). Yep, it really is like old times.

Long ago hanging up her camera and spy gear, Veronica agrees to return only to see her father (Enrico Colantoni) and help Logan find a good lawyer. Things don't go according to plan. Of course she also have time to reunite with several old friends and enemies, make an enemy of the new sheriff (Jerry O'Connell), and even (against her wishes) attend her class reunion.

Filled with cameos and inside jokes fans of the show will enjoy, the film works primarily because of how easily the cast fall back into their various roles. Seeing Bell and Colantoni together on-screen together is worth the price of admission alone, and Ryan Hansen doesn't miss a beat while stepping back into the skin of Logan's best bud Dick who hasn't changed at all since we saw him last.

We also get Veronica spending some time with both Wallace (Percy Daggs III) and Mac (Tina Majorino), and a surprisingly grown-up Weevil (Francis Capra) whose certainly cleaned-up his act since we saw him last. Other than the absence of any member (living or dead) of the Kane family, several familiar faces return including Krysten Ritter as Gia Goodman, bitchy Madison Sinclair (Amanda Noret), Leo D'Amato (Max Greenfield), and Ken Marino as everyone's favorite scumbag P.I. Vinnie Van Lowe. And I've got mention both Bell's real-life husband Dax Sheppard and James Franco (playing himself) competing for the film's best cameo.

Along with offering a murder mystery that ties back to events from Veronica's past, and offering fans the opportunity to see the characters together one more time, the film has a life lesson the echos the TV-show about not hiding from who you are. Despite spending the better part of a decade trying to remove herself from her old life it takes very little for Veronica to dive back into her past and reclaim her former glory in a town that could certainly use a little V. Mars ass-kicking. Sometimes you can go home again. And it seems Neptune needs Veronica Mars. So do we all.

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