Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando
Reno 911!: Miami
Foxs COPS was one of the first realty TV shows to score with audiences. But with all the realty shows flooding the airwaves now, that show seems like a relic from the distant past. But that hasnt stopped Comedy Central from sending the show up in its comedy series Reno 911! , which now hits the big screen as Reno 911!: Miami (opening February 23 throughout San Diego).
Reno 911!: Miami
Renos finest not only moves to the big screen but to the streets of Miami. Described as the stupidest people not labelled as retarded, this inept team of well-intentioned law enforcement officers heads off to Miami for a police convention. Led by the hot pants-clad Lt. Dangle (Thomas Lennon), the group arrive in Miami only to be shut out of the convention. But when a biochemical terrorist attack leaves all the police officers quarantined in the convention hotel, it falls upon the Reno sheriffs to patrol the Miami streets dealing with alligators, beached whales and a Scarface-like mobster.
Reno 911!: Miami is unabashedly stupid and has no plot or driving narrative propelling the story forward. Its merely a series of skits and gags loosely tied together by the contrived premise that the Reno sheriffs are in Miami. But you have to give the film credit for having low expectations and meeting them. There are definitely laughs to be found here and it sustains the comedy better than the even dumber Epic Movie.
Director Ben Garant wisely keeps things moving quickly and simply cuts out of a gag after its earned its laugh. With this free-flowing format, the film can also move quickly over jokes and material that fall flat. Much of the comedy is low or gross so if fat jokes, crude sexual humor or rotting whales that wash up on the beach are offensive to you then simply stay away.
For the film, the realty TV aspect of the series is somewhat lost. There are occasional references to the omnipresent film crew following them around but the device isn't used to much effect. The film could have poked fun at documentary conventions or recent controversial films like Fahrenheit 911, but Garant doesn't really try to break any new comedic ground.
Reno 911!: Miami (rated R for sexual content, language and comic violence) will provide a few laughs and some funny cameos (The Rock scores particularly well). But these dumb cops may have used all their best material on the small screen. The movie ends, though, with a hook for a sequel-- Reno 911!: Scotland Yard.
Companion viewing: Police Squad (the TV series), The Naked Gun, Scarface