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Film review: Veronica Mars

1 of 1 Kristen Bell  reprises her role as snarky sleuth Veronica Mars
Kristen Bell reprises her role as snarky sleuth Veronica Mars

The cult US show gets a welcome cinema release with Kristen Bell once again outstanding as the snarky sleuth and although it’s a bit Scooby-Doo-meets-Nancy-Drew, as Arnie once said - get your ass to Mars

You know how it is: you have a fantastic experience but, over the course of time, memories can fade. Sometimes you even forget. It’s not because you've had many better experiences – though that’s possible – it’s usually because you've had so many other experiences, even great ones can get lost in the mist. Then something brings you back to that fantastic experience, and you’re knocked out all over again.

Well, that’s exactly what happened to me when I watched the Veronica Mars movie.

Like so many great American shows, Veronica Mars never got the exposure it deserved on this side of the Atlantic. And it was a great show, but only lasted three seasons before it got the chop. What it left behind was a loyal fanbase, as this tale of a teenage detective was smart, funny, and in Kristen Bell it had an outstanding lead who was perfect for and in the role.

Since its cancellation in 2007 there has been constant rumours of a film version and, thanks to a hugely successful KIckstarter campaign, creator Rob Thomas was able to finance this feature-length episode. And that’s what it is, because there are absolutely no concessions made to cinema. Not that I care. This is brilliant fun.

It’s ten years after her school and sleuthing days, Veronica Mars has moved on and lives in New York, where she’s looking to establish herself as a lawyer. She’s got a new boyfriend, and teenage life in Neptune, California is far behind her. Except it’s not.

When a famous singer (and former school pal) is murdered, Veronica’s ex is implicated. So when he calls looking for help, she’s there. Inevitably, she falls back into her old snooping groove and even attends a high school reunion.

Yep, it’s a bit Scooby-Doo-meets-Nancy-Drew, but that was always part of the show’s appeal. Add that to Bell’s snarky lead, throw in some great dialogue, top it off with a wicked sense of humour, and you've got one hell of a show – I mean film. Plus, Lou Rawls’ cocktail disco classic You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine will never sound the same again. Ever.

If you’re not a fan of the show you mightn't get as much fun out of watching this film, but I hope you’ll - as Arnie might put it - get your ass to Mars and then check out the TV show, because Veronica Mars is worth investigating.

In fact, as soon as I'm finished this review I’ll order the complete series on DVD. Sure, I could download or watch it for free onliine, but I want a box set to put on a shelf at home as a constant reminder of the great Veronica Mars. I’ll not forget again.

John Byrne

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