Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Forever a Spy Girl

Veronica Mars cusses now.

Yeah, girlfriend is all grown up. And on the big screen.

The Veronica Mars movie arrived in theaters last week, much to the delight of fans of the Kristen Bell-led 2004-2007 Rob Thomas-created UPN CW show.

I, unfortch, had to settle for watching it on my laptop, for my friendly neighborhood Regal Cinema is not an AMC Theater, which evidently got the exclusive right to show the darn thing.

That, I am saddened to say, only added to the dullness of the movie.

Yes, Veronica Mars is dull in feature length. Or, rather, her trademark spunkiness, the thing that set the Neptune, Calif., high school detective apart from her brethren of small-screen heroine-sisters, has been dulled.

By the time that has transpired since we last saw her. By age, too, perhaps. Definitely by a downer of a metaphor to addiction (nine years after leaving Neptune and literally on the eve of becoming a big-time New York City lawyer, Veronica Mars can’t quite quit Neptune’s call, and like a good she literally says in the movie...she’s gotta answer that call when her old bad-boy-bf Logan, played by Jason Dohring, rings her up asking for help in beating a murder rap).

Veronica Mars the TV show worked as effective escapist fun on the tube because her adventures often were larger than life. And because it – in spite of its challenges with mass viewership – had a consistent budget that afforded it certain liberties that its Kickstarter-funded movie incarnation lacks. Like a peppier, poppier score to level the silly stakes Veronica Mars the character had to face.

Feel free to go down memory lane with Thomas, Bell & Co., including fan favorites Tina Majorino, Max Greenfrield, and Krysten Ritter, and, of course, Enrico Colantoni, who is back as Papa Mars – but don’t expect the movie to live up to your memories. A long time ago is a long time ago for a reason. And while it was swell to see Ms. Mars make her way back to us, her homecoming is bittersweet.

Which, now that I think about it, was always gonna be given the expectations, and the fact that Thomas decided to go with the worst metaphor on Earth for it.

My Rating **

Photo: Warner Bros.

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