Veronica Mars (2014)

veronica mars poster 2014 movie kristen bell
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Great to see Veronica back!

Fans of the show only

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Veronica Mars

Studio:  Warner Bros. Digital

Genre(s):  Drama/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  March 14, 2014

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

veronica mars mac wallace tina majorino percy daggs iii kristen bell

You know a long time ago…we used to be friends. But I haven’t thought of you lately at all…

Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is back!  When Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) is accused of murdering their former classmate and pop star Carrie Bishop aka Bonnie DeVille (Andrea Estella), Veronica finds herself wrecking her chances as a big first job with a prestigious law firm.  Veronica is pulled into her old life as an investigator with all new tricks that she’s learned in law school.  With a Neptune High class reunion and all her friends back, Veronica must make a choice between her new life and the past that she’s tried to bury.

Directed by Rob Thomas, Veronica Mars is a mystery, murder drama.  It is the big screen adaptation of the cult WB series which aired from 2004-2007.  The film was funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign by Thomas and fans that earned enough money to be greenlit by the studios.  Like the series, the movie was met with positive reviews but fared so-so at the box-office.

I love Veronica Mars.  The series was a direct result of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other “clever teens”.  Veronica Mars, however, I felt avoided a lot of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer clichés and soared above Buffy with clever mystery writing.  When I learned that Veronica was due back in a big screen mystery so many years after the show’s start, I was worried…very worried.  Instead, Veronica Mars feels like revisiting an old friend.

veronica mars 2014 free hugs jason dohring kristen bell

Who doesn’t want a free hug?!?!

The story of Veronica Mars takes a very different approach to what Thomas initially planned.  When the fourth season of Veronica Mars was pitched, Veronica was headed to the FBI (a joke is made about this in the film).  This idea is ditched for Veronica becoming a lawyer…you know where the movie is going immediately when Veronica is sucked back into the world of Neptune, but it still is a fun ride.

With the revisiting of a TV series, the movie tries to get as much of the original cast back into the film as possible.  For the most part, it doesn’t feel too forced…it is obvious that Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring), Wallace Fennel (Percy Daggs III), and Mac (Tina Majorino) will show up again along with Veronica’s father Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni) and Gia Goodman (Krysten Ritter), but the movie has to work a bit harder to fit Dick Casablancas (Ryan Hansen), Weevil Navarro (Francis Capra), Vinnie Van Lowe (Ken Marino), Celeste Kane (Lisa Thornhill), and other regulars into the series through random cameos and the reunion which allows for a lot of appearances.  The movie also features Jerry O’Connell (as Sheriff Dan Lamb), Jamie Lee Curtis (Gayle Buckley), Gabby Hoffman (Ruby Jetson), Ira Glass of This American Life (and more of the staff), and James Franco as himself.

veronica mars surveillance kristen bell

Back to her old tricks!

The movie doesn’t really do anything special visually.  It does do a good job of recreating the series and doesn’t feel like too big of a visual jump.  It has to blend with the old series and appear as if you could just continue watching the series from the end of Veronica Mars—Season 3.  It succeeds in this aspect, but also doesn’t feel like a big screen event.  It is fun to see how characters moved on (or did not move on) if the story called for it…including Veronica seeing another very Veronica girl sitting at her old high school table.

Veronica Mars is a welcomed (if not weird) return of a great character.  Part Nancy Drew and part Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the character is all fun, and I love seeing her back.  The movie is probably just for fans, but I do recommend it once you’ve gone back and familiarized yourself with the character…it is fun to see an old friend again.  Veronica Mars was followed by a series relaunch in 2019 on Hulu.

Related Links:

Veronica Mars—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Veronica Mars—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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