Veronica Mars has a new mystery to solve

by Jamie Ballard

Both “Marshmallows” and the uninitiated can all rejoice in the excellence of the Kickstarter-produced, fan-funded, eagerly anticipated “Veronica Mars” movie. Former teen detective Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is currently living in New York with college flame Stosh “Piz” Piznarski (Chris Lowell), having recently graduated from law school at the top of her class, naturally.

When Veronica’s ex-boyfriend Logan Echolls (Jason Dohring) is accused of murdering his girlfriend Bonnie DeVille (Andrea Estella), also known as Carrie, he calls Veronica for help. She returns to Neptune to find old nemeses and former friends alike, some of whom followed the yearbook advice “don’t ever change!”

Though she originally plans to return for a short time just to help Logan choose a lawyer, she’s quickly addicted to the case and extends her stay in order to figure out who killed Bonnie. Veronica is quickly thrust back into a world where she is the underdog, fighting corrupt police forces and high school mean girls alike.

Part of what makes the film so fantastic is Kristen Bell as Veronica Mars. She’s the girl you wish you could be—witty, intelligent and tough-wrapped up with the girl you maybe actually were in high school—average and unpopular with peers. But part of what makes her so great is that she’s never really cared about being liked. In the film, it’s never more apparent than when she’s dragged to her high school reunion and immediately gets into it with former mean girl Madison Sinclair (Amanda Noret). There are the comebacks you wish you had in the moment but don’t actually remember until three hours later, and then there’s Veronica’s acrid tongue and sharpened wit slaying those who cross her.

If you’ve never watched the show, which was often filmed at San Diego State, don’t fret. The movie is designed for hardcore devotees and new fans alike. The opening sequence explains the backstory behind the show and how we got to the present day setting, making it easy to catch up and understand what’s happening.

But if you are a longtime fan, writer, director and creator Rob Thomas slipped some Easter eggs in there for you. Besides the fact that we get to see what became of Veronica’s classmates, a treat in itself, there are winks here and there to parts of the show. My personal favorite is when Veronica is flipping through a stack of her old fake I.D. cards and we catch a glimpse of an old SDSU student I.D.

“Veronica Mars” premieres in theaters on March 14, and will also be available to rent or purchase through online retailers like Amazon and iTunes and through on demand services.

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Photo courtesy of Justin Lubin/WarnerBros