Veronica Mars, the cult TV show starring Kristen Bell as a teenage private eye, won a hard core of doggedly devoted fans before it went off the air in 2007 after only three seasons. And that devotion has now revived the character for a big-screen adventure thanks to a record-breaking crowdfunding effort on Kickstarter that gained support from 91,585 backers.
Directed by Rob Thomas, the show’s creator, the film finds Veronica on the brink of joining a classy New York law firm, having left behind both her California hometown Neptune and her days as a detective. But she’s drawn back to both when her ex-boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring) gets accused of murder.
The ensuing mystery does smack a little of an extended TV episode, but that won’t bother fans looking for more of Veronica’s whip-smart snarky put-downs and old-school sleuthing. Both are amply present here – and so are most of the show’s old cast, cannily shoehorned into the plot by means of a 10-year high-school reunion.
But you don’t need to be an obsessive fan of the series to enjoy the movie, and if most of the in-jokes fly over your head the self-mocking cameo from James Franco – caught by a celebrity spy camera trying to squeeze into a pair of skinny jeans and to find words that rhyme with ‘orange’ – is funny without footnotes.
Certificate 12A. Runtime 105 mins. Director Rob Thomas.
To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.