Rated: PG-13 for sexuality including references, drug content, violence and some strong language. Reviewed by: Jim Release date: March 14, 2014 Released by: Warner Brothers
This labor of love for star Kristen Bell (Frozen) and her fans (known as "Marshmellows") resurrects a cancelled small-screen show (in 2007) through a "Kickstarter" movement.
Veronica Mars apparently is worth the wait to see the sleuthing teen detective all grown up from a montage that depicts her trying to find out who offed her closest friend, Lily Kane. Bell's Veronica had plenty of angst growing up in the seaside Neptune, California with its share of class strife.
Now, in director (original creator) Rob Thomas's less than fleet a foot sometimes pandering film but with an assured central character's point of view and less showy when it comes to visuals and effects, the poised Stanford graduate is on the verge of landing a position at a Big Apple law firm.
The reminders of an old "angry, vengeful me" pulls her back to Neptune thanks to her ex-beau and edgy nemesis Logan (Jason Dohring). Logan's found passed out next to his electrocuted rock-star girlfriend and soon Veronica is back to her former stomping grounding reconnecting with Mac (Tina Majorino), Weevil (Francis Capra), Wallace (Percy Diggs III).
It's more gratifying to see Veronica reunite with her sheriff-now-detective father Keith (Enrico Colantoni) in a nice blend of the sweet and combating in their somewhat sardonic, amusing repartee.
The fans get essentially what they want though Thomas doesn't make the central mystery that intriguing or even sharply tailored to those who even were endeared to something like Murder, She Wrote.
Bell slips effortlessly back into a role eyed for her and responds with a funny, charming turn that blends well with slick look, in-jokes and cameos some involving clandestine celebrity surveillance that some may like more than they really are. Even if it lingers a bit much on Veronica and Logan, it still comes up a winner.