Rob Thomas’ long-awaited Veronica Mars film just had its world premiere at SXSW and early reactions have been overwhelmingly positive so far. Check them out after the jump/below! “Years after walking away from her past as a teenage private eye, Veronica Mars gets pulled back to her hometown – just in time for her high school reunion – in order to help her old flame Logan Echolls, who’s embroiled in a murder mystery.”
Percy Daggs III, Francis Capra, Krysten Ritter, Ryan Hansen, Chris Lowell, Tina Majorino, Sam Huntington, Max Greenfield, Ken Marino, and Amanda Noret also star. Veronica Mars opens in theaters March 14.
Collider: The structure and vibe are what make Veronica Mars a success. Everything the fans loved is still in place, and it even has ambiance of a high school reunion as we briefly say hello to familiar faces and want to spend more time with old friends. But for newcomers, the film rarely feels exclusionary. They may wonder why a die-hard fan is getting excited when a character shows up or laughs at an inside joke, but from a plot/character perspective, it’s still a solid mystery. As for a fan like me, I can sympathize with Veronica; I thought I was out of Veronica Mars, but now I want to go back to the series and sink back into Neptune. (B)
Hit Fix: When the show began, there was something precocious about Veronica’s rapid-fire sense of humor and her unflappable pursuit of the truth. Now that she’s an adult, it doesn’t feel precocious anymore. Now it’s hard-earned, paid for with all the pain that Veronica’s gone through, and while much of the film is very funny, it never treats the underlying crime as a joke. As someone who enjoyed the show enormously while it was on the air, I am relieved to report that the film felt to me like it successfully recaptured the spirit of the show’s first season. My only question at this point is how it will work for audiences who didn’t see the show, which, based on the ratings, would seem to be pretty much everyone. (B+)
Film School Rejects: Veronica Mars, however, is not for me and the majority of people who’ve never seen one episode of the show. Am I bitter for not getting the inside jokes that had most of the theater laughing at seemingly random bits of dialogue? No, I was just bored for that reason. But I also feel bad for the fans that the movie’s humor is so based in what’s already in their heads rather than in anything new and unique. Veronica Mars is scripted like a TV show, shot like a TV show and acted as if it’s a TV show and does nothing at all to justify a theatrical release. (C-)
IndieWire: And so the movie, is more than anything, a bold and breathless work of fan service, configured by the creators of the original series for the maximum enjoyment of the fans of the original series. Devoted members of the Church of Mars, probably won’t find a moment when a dopey smile isn’t plastered across their face (and again, non-devotees might be left scratching their heads). Bell, in particular, remains a transfixing presence, slipping back into the character with ease and confidence. (B)
THR: A solid cinematic turn for the Nancy Drew of the new millennium, sure to delight crowdfunding backers and other fans of the source series. Even so, Thomas’ direction, especially of the villainous roles, gives a lot of the action a self-conscious, not-quite-real quality. Some aspects of the movie’s intentional artifice work better than others.
VERONICA MARS: solid TV mystery, exact same snarky-sincere vibe as the show. Great for fans, but not exclusive to them. Fun stuff. #sxsw
— Eric D. Snider (@EricDSnider) March 8, 2014
Veronica Mars is great fun. Supplemented by the series w/o being driven by fan service. Slick and mature. Miss Marple would be proud. #SXSW
— Matt Patches (@misterpatches) March 8, 2014
Veronica Mars: total fan service, of course, but fine at that. "Non-Destructive" was spelled wrong. #SXSW
— William Goss (@williambgoss) March 8, 2014
I strongly disliked VERONICA MARS.
— Jacob Hall (@JacobSHall) March 8, 2014
To clarify: fans will love VERONICA MARS. Others may wonder why they're watching a TV reunion special in a movie theater.
— Jacob Hall (@JacobSHall) March 8, 2014
— Jason Bailey (@jasondashbailey) March 8, 2014
Fun Veronica Mars world premiere @sxsw – felt a bit like seeing the Twin Peaks film w/o seeing series but film really stands on its own.
— Bears Fonte (@BearsFonte) March 8, 2014
If you’re a fan of the series then you’ll be happy with the VERONICA MARS movie. It’s total fan service. Little there for non-fans #SXSW
— Noah Lee (@noahphex) March 8, 2014
Veronica Mars succeeds in being funny, charming, and involving to the uninitiated. Fan service details even feel organic. #sxswfilm
— George A. Hickman (@popmortem) March 8, 2014
While it won't convert newbies, the #VeronicaMars movie is EVERYTHING fans have hoped for. Smart, funny, and filled w/ nods to the series
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) March 8, 2014