The big screen upgrade to fan favorite teen TV detective Veronica Mars is available today on DVD and Blu-Ray. Kristin Bell ably shoulders this self-aware, witty and fun retread. Fans of the show will be thrilled while the uninitiated are just as likely to enjoy the seedy antics of Neptune, California.
Another great fan favorite to make the leap to the silver screen is Strangers with Candy. Stephen Colbert’s stepping stone program follows the wildly hilarious high school mishaps of “reformed” drug addict/stripper/overbite victim Jerry Blank (the genius Amy Sedaris). It’s such a joy to see the cinematic version take that same twisted after school special approach, but Colbert, Sedaris and company are insanely funny no matter the size of the screen.
Fans of Veronica Mars have been clamoring for a movie ever since the television series left the air in 2007. Their wish has finally been granted, and the result is a film that will not only preach to the choir, but also entertain those unfamiliar with the exploits of the teenage private eye.
Of course now, Veronica (Kristen Bell) is all grown up, and she’s left the P.I. business in California for a new life in New York. She’s done with law school and is up for a plum job at a big time law firm when…her old life comes calling.
Director/co-writer Rob Thomas shows great instincts for giving his baby a successful upgrade to the big screen, and for paying VM fans back for their devotion and kickstarter love. He gets everyone caught up in the first few minutes, then centers a murder mystery around Veronica’s 10 year high school reunion. Longtime viewers get to relish the return of all the familiar faces, while Thomas provides the snappy dialogue and brisk pace to keep everyone engaged.
Sure, the shenanigans here are presented with all the depth of adolescent TV, but Thomas offsets it all with a wonderful streak of self-awareness. There isn’t an ounce of pretense in Veronica Mars, which only increases its charm.
Back in the role that made her famous, Bell has never been more likable, carrying the film with a satisfying mix of confidence, intellect, sex appeal and wit. Also, some nice cameos pepper the ensemble cast, only adding to the fun.
And that’s mainly what Veronica Mars ends up being: fun.