The explosion in TV series’ movie spin-offs thankfully fizzled out after Charlie’s Angels, Starsky & Hutch, Miami Vice and The Dukes of Hazzard all failed to deliver anything as solid as the Mission: Impossible reboots.
Out of the blue, and thanks to 91,000 fans financing its revival via the internet fundraising site Kickstarter, the 2004-07 Warner Bros Television series Veronica Mars is back with Kristen Bell returning as the former high school private detective from the fictional town of Neptune.
Now about to graduate from law school, the sexy sleuth has spent nine years figuring out exactly who she is.
With ex-boyfriend Logan (Jason Dohrnig) accused of murder, she rewakens old passions by saying to herself: ‘Getting out of Neptune. It was an iniquitous hell hole when you left, and from the look of things it’s only got more corrupt...’.
The film feels up to date with dad Keith Mars (Enrico Colantoni) taking footage of a crime he’s instantly ‘uploaded to the cloud’ and Veronica talking about how she needs to pay off her student loans.
Veronica Mars is fresh enough to appeal to fans and win a whole new audience, too, with Bell so perfect for the role she's closer to Jodie Foster / Sandra Bullock territory than Cameron Diaz / Jennifer Aniston.
Despite its middle-class magnolia feel in one respect, it has some sharp lines, twists and turns, revived characters, a neat score and good jokes about Warner Bros’ stalwart Clint Eastwood.
Oh, and as well as James Franco, the great Jamie Lee Curtis is briefly back on the silver screen.