Veronica Mars: Mixed Feelings from a Kickstarter Backer and a Diehard Fan

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I saw the Veronica Mars Movie in the theatre with a good friend and our pre-teen daughters last Sunday.  As a previous post would prove, I am a huge fan of the TV series. I was happy to throw a nominal sum at the Kickstarter project in order to score some neat rewards and to see what would happen. I was excited to attend this gathering of fans and was pleasantly surprised to be seated in a theatre that was more than half-full. But I couldn’t help reading reviews beforehand, which were mixed at best. So my expectations were tempered and I am glad they were.

Was this Kickstarter film a success? Depends who you ask. The box-office numbers revealed that fans came out in pretty decent numbers considering it was a limited release and available as a download. Creator, Rob Thomas was pretty open that he was motivated to give fans what they want.

There lies the problem. How can he possibly know what fans want? We are an eclectic bunch. Fundamentally I wanted a solid movie that I could watch with a friend who was completely uninitiated to the TV show. Joss Whedon managed to do it when he revitalized the characters from prematurely cancelled TV series Firefly with the film Serenity, so I hoped it would be possible with this project. Sadly, this film was an adequate extended made for TV reunion episode (thankfully not as bad as Rescue from Gilligan’s Island) that was not for the uninitiated.

Did I have fun watching it? Yes!! It was awesome to spend time with familiar faces and characters in a room full of fans. Was the story engaging? Kinda. Did the characters ring true? Whose to say? The witty banter was there so, YAY! Veronica was no longer a teenager in this film and yet she fell into some patterns of behaviour that no longer earned a pass. I don’t want to spoil any plot points. Most of the action on screen seemed to serve the plot more than the characters. Some relationships where thrown under  the bus, others were catapulted to new levels that didn’t seem earned and others were virtually ignored.

Much has been said about this film from other more eloquent fans and these links echo many of my sentiments.

Warning, these links have spoilers.

Linda Holmes NPR Monkey See Blog on Veronica Mars

James Poniewozik Time on Veronica Mars Movie

Todd VanDerWerff AV Club on Veronica Mars Movie

Meghan Lewit AV Club

You know what I really wished for? That Veronica Mars, the TV series, didn’t struggle in the ratings and was given the freedom to continue to develop its characters and mysteries over a 4 to 5 year period. It would have been fun to see Veronica go from feisty teenager to capable young woman and thenI could have happily said good bye. TV series tend to run their course after a while.

It didn’t happen and no amount of Kickstarter money could give me what I want. This movie was better than nothing and certainly didn’t tarnish my memories of the show but it made me wistful. Would I ever watch it again? Doubtful, as I would sooner rewatch the TV series over agin. Would I give money to see another instalment? Probably, my kids really enjoyed the movie, as did their newbie friends. We all liked the cool rewards, especially the T-shirts.


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