Successes and Faults of Veronica Mars (film)

It’s easy to think that more people would be in the Veronica Mars fandom if the show had aired during the current binge-encouraging TV community. The show ran from 2004-2007 on UPN/CW. It was low-rated but beloved for its writing, format and acting.

Despite (very persistent) fan attempts for a movie to be made, Warner Brothers (the studio that financed/distributed the show) opted not to fund the possible film. Fast foward six years to 2013 and a Kickstarter campaign was launched, raising $5.7 million in 30 days. The movie was officially happening

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Review

The prowling teen detective, covering the seedy happenings at Neptune High School and its town, is back.

Veronica Mars was last seen at the end of season three, her freshman year of college, getting recruited by the FBI (Great career planning!). Nine years later she is living in New York City with her college boyfriend “Piz” and pursuing jobs at a few law firms. In the midst of landing a pretty sweet gig at a law firm, she gets contacted by her ex-boyfriend Logan Echolls. He’s in trouble, having been accused of the murder of his girlfriend Carrie Bishop who was a fellow student at Neptune High.

Bishop, who went on to become a successful popstar under the stagename Bonnie DeVille, was found dead in her bathroom. Echolls, a lieutenant in the US Navy and son of movie star Aaron Echolls, is the prime suspect. Lawyer offers being thrown in his face, Veronica treks down to Neptune to help him clear his name.

During her 10-year high school reunion, she realizes that Bishop’s murder is connected to the death of her best friend, Susan Knight. Knight mysteriously disappeared during a boating trip nine years prior.

The ensuing plot involves Veronica working to clear Logan’s name while dealing with the seedy and corrupt nature of small town Neptune.

Observations

The film was well-paced and had a steady plot and resolution. A quick two minute introduction at the start gives non-viewers of the TV series a brief history of Veronica Mars and company and allows the film to be enjoyed without ever watching the series.

The only qualms a non-viewer of the TV series would experience is the pop ups of various characters from the TV show.  The instances aren’t too distracting to keep the viewer from enjoying the movie as a whole.

While the film was good, I noted a few disruptions to it

  • Interaction among characters was big in the TV series. In the film it isn’t, all the side characters from the series have few scenes and aren’t really engaging to the plot of the film.
  • Movie feels a little weird. It plays like some TV movie. Veronica Mars isn’t meant for film. It’s writing serves best when restricted to hour-long TV formatting.

Will the Veronica Mars film be counted as a success? Many already consider it so (it was finally made into a movie after seven years after all).

Box office and movie insiders are looking closely to see whether actually will be a success or not. The film cost a reported $6 million to make. To be classified as a success it would have to make double its budget back, $12 million. A figure that doesn’t seem likely to be happening.

  • Opening weekend: $2 million from 291 theaters for its opening weekend.
  • Second week: dropped 76.5%, obtaining around $470,000 from 347 theaters.

Making back its budget from theater box office doesn’t seem to be in the cards. Video on Demand sales may be its saving grace. No report has been released on the exact state of its VOD viewing numbers (distributors have a frequent history of not releasing on demand numbers).

A long time ago, we used to be friends…and we still are. Veronica Mars, despite its few quirks, works well for a night of movie watching outside of the typical slapstick comedy genre. A- 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Successes and Faults of Veronica Mars (film)

  1. A tip I can give is to just watch the first season. Other watchers of the show will argue with me on this but you basically need to just watch the first season to understand why the movie (while great) had a few faults.

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