Saturday, March 15, 2014

Ten Statements--No, Wait, Eleven!About....VERONICA MARS (2014)

Welcome back, O Angel of Vengeance...I agree with Logan
when he says you should always wear this!
1) I know that making a film liberates you from certain things, but it’s still weird for me to hear the characters cursing from time to time.

2) I love how writer/director/series creator Rob Thomas finds a way to squeeze in as many of the show’s recurring characters as possible I was particularly happy to see Veronica bailed out by my favorite character of all, Daran orris' Cliff).  The second act set piece of the high school reunion does allow Thomas to drag in such obscure characters as Korny while also setting up the plot thread that will lead Veronica to the solution of the mystery.

3) There are a couple of really shocking cameos.  Besides Jamie Lee Curtis, whose presence in the film is spoiled by the trailer (and, to be fair, has her cameo extremely early in the film), there’s a surprising and extremely funny extended cameo in the second act that totally blindsided me, and also provides the basis for the post-credit sequence.

4) I am somewhat disappointed that Kristen Bell only dons what I like to call her ‘Angel of Vengeance’
It''s interesting how this shot echoes the first shot of the
black gear once, a outfit that makes her look so good that I had to agree with Jason Dohring’s Logan when he says “You should dress like this all the time.”

5) The violence has been upped--there’s a moment involving a hit and run that is as graphic as it is shocking because of the victims involved--but it doesn’t seem out of place in Veronica’s world.  After all, Thomas consciously patterned the series after classic hardboiled detective fiction.

6) If there’s one frustrating thing, it’s the way the subplot about the corruption in the Neptune police department, headed by Jerry O’Connell’s Sheriff Dan Lamb never goes anywhere.  This is established very early on, and there are implications that this corruption has a hand in both the A and B plots, but it’s never resolved.  Even Lamb’s final comeuppance is unconnected to this subplot.

7) I am heartened that the film is very clear that the central relationship is not the one between Veronica and Logan, but between Veronica and Enrico Colantoni’s Keith Mars.  The chemistry between the two is still palatable and immediate, and watching them interact together is a joy to behold.

The Three Musketeers of Neptune High are on the case again!
8) As the series always did, the use of music is very effective.  The way Thomas sneaks in an acoustic version of the show’s theme in the first act to represent Veronica’s distance from her former life is great, and this is probably the only film that would think to use a Luther Vandross song in a suspenseful action sequence.

9)  It is amazing how some recurring members of the cast--Francis Capra’s Weevil, Amanda Noret’s Madison, Brandon Hillock’s Deputy Sachs--seemed to have not changed a bit.  On the other hand, it’s rather shocking to see how other cast members--in particular, Ken Marino’s Vinnie Van Lowe and Duane Daniels’ Principal Clemmons--have not aged well at all.

10) I sort of gathered where Veronica’s character arc was going to end up, but it still didn’t stop me from feeling a frisson of pleasure when she reached that final moment, kicked up her heels and finished her monologue about being an addict.

11) Perhaps the single coolest moment?  The title card at the end where Thomas thanks all of us Marsmellows for their undying devotion and the legions of us who kicked in to the Kickstarter to make this all happen.

Overall...I admit, I’m biased.  I love returning to Neptune and spending two hours with my beloved friends.  I just hope this film makes enough money that a second film will be warranted, because I missed seeing Kristen Bell as The Angel of Vengeance.