'Veronica Mars' SXSW movie premiere review roundup: What are the critics saying?

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It's been seven years in the making, and now it's finally here -- the "Veronica Mars" movie.

While the film doesn't actually debut in theaters until Friday (March 14), a lucky few fans were able to see the premiere at the SXSW festival in Austin on Saturday (March 8). And among those fans, were movie critics.

So what are the critics saying about the follow-up film to the cult hit series "Veronica Mars?" Did they like it? Will die-hard fans like it? Check out
Zap2it's roundup of highlights from the reviews below:

The Hollywood Reporter: 'Veronica Mars' Delights Diehards at World Premiere

"Judging from the squees of delight that filled the theater as the lights dimmed, many [fans] were in attendance at the screening. 'Mars' mania continued throughout the 110-minute film."

"Brimming with the tart one-liners, touching exchanges and memorable set pieces -- including one disastrous high school reunion -- that made the show such a breakout hit with viewers, Thomas deftly bridges the seven-year gap, weaving in a dizzying number of characters culled from three action-packed seasons."

Variety: SXSW film review: 'Veronica Mars' movie

"First, the bad news: Veronica Mars, the whip-smart young sleuth played to wisecracking perfection by Kristen Bell, doesn't get a case particularly worthy of her talents in this long-anticipated bigscreen reincarnation of the CW's critically beloved, perpetually low-rated detective series. The good or at least so-so news: It likely won't matter much to the show's fans, 91,585 of whom contributed $5.7 million to a record-setting Kickstarter campaign that ultimately persuaded Warners to greenlight the project."

HitFix.com: 'Veronica Mars' returns to dark, witty life -- The Kickstarter-funded movie is more than just fan-service, but fans should love it anyway

"However improbable its existence may be, however unconventional its funding was, the 'Veronica Mars' movie exists. And it's a blast."

"The 'Veronica Mars' movie is fan service-y, at times brazenly so. Nearly every notable character comes back (sometimes seamlessly fitting into the story, sometimes part of an otherwise unnecessary detour), there are winks to key moments in the real and fictional life of the show (including a reference to the aborted plan to continue the series with Veronica as a rookie FBI agent), a scene where Veronica and Piz walk past a busker playing the show's theme song and various opportunities for Bell and Dohring to smolder brightly in each other's presence. But Thomas and Ruggiero have found a way to make a movie that the fans will love without straight-up pandering to them."

IndieWire.com: 'Veronica Mars' starring Kristen Bell

"This is a movie that the fans desperately wanted, so much so that they paid for it themselves. So it is something of a relief to report that the movie version of the series, while not without its flaws, fundamentally maintains the heart and intrigue of the television series, but in a miniaturized, less nuanced form. The question is whether or not anyone who isn't a die-hard devotee of the series will care."

"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. There's never been anything that's been attempted (or assembled) quite like this. And the ballsiness of that is something to at least admire on some small level. Even if it doesn't work all the time, it's still a pretty solid experiment. 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."

The Guardian: The Veronica Mars movie: a momentous return from retirement

"'Veronica Mars' is that same kind of small-scale, popcorn-worthy entertainment, an adaptation that avoids payoffs and indulgent nostalgia and capitalizes on a procedural legacy."

"That shouldn't surprise fans. Sticking to what worked from his cult favorite show, [Rob] Thomas works off blueprints, souping up the visuals with cinematic gravitas without blowing it up into a glossy, Non-Stop-esque thriller."

"There were lingering plot lines in the show's third season non-finale, including the re-election of Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni) to the role of sheriff, Veronica Mars blows straight past the loose ends and into the story.

Photo/Video credit: Warner Bros.