This film could have been titled “There Will Be Beef.”
"Look at us, falling right back into our old rhythms."
The heroine's sometime lover Logan Echolls tells her that in "Veronica Mars" the movie. Rob Thomas' same-named source was aware of itself as both a riff on film noir and a TV show. Its heroine—a Nancy Drew of Neptune, California played by Kristen Bell—narrated her own adventures as if she were the harshest critic of a program she starred in, mocking her own bad judgment and describing people and neighborhoods with the cattiness of a Television without Pity commenter. The series was hip to the way young 21st century Americans watched TV, congratulating themselves on having predicted certain plot twists even as they longed to get swept up, like Veronica, by conspiracies and love. The movie, which is set in the heroine's hometown on the weekend of her tenth high school reunion, takes the show's self-awareness up a notch.
The heroine cautions herself not to get sucked into the rush of private detective work again, and even compares her nostalgic impulses to an addiction she can't seem to recover from. "It's a Springsteen song," she warns us in the opening narration. "Get out while you're young." Thomas packs the script with talk of old habits dying hard and getting stuck in the past vs. moving on, and builds out the TV show's web of friendships and blood relations to the point where non-fans may find the film impossible to follow (if you're among that group of viewers, be warned that neither the movie nor the star rating at the top of this page are aimed at you).
Wouldn't you know it: the new case revolves Veronica's her ex-boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohring). The spoiled and bitter yet eloquent bad-boy distanced himself from all the death and scandal he endured in high school by joining the Navy and flying jets over Afghanistan. He returned a war hero and married another of Veronica's classmates, a pop singer who was known as Carrie Bishop in high school (she appeared in two 2005 episodes and is now played by Andrea Estella) but renamed herself Bonnie DeVille and had a tumultuous, Amy Winehouse-like career. When she's found electrocuted to death in her bathtub, Logan is the prime suspect, and why wouldn't he be? Though ultimately more sinned against than sinning, the guy is a magnet for violent death, and his sneering attitude and fondness for debauchery make the world assume the worst of him.