‘Reno 911!: Miami’ *** (Movie Review) 030607

The Work = ***
I have a difficulty giving too high a recommendation to ‘Reno 911!: Miami’, not because it is a bad movie but because it is only going to appeal to those with at least some tolerance for the TV show ‘Reno 911!’. For those few who do not know, the TV show is sort of a mocumentary style cop show that more or less parodies ‘Cops’. Actually, that description sells the show short as it really has some broad comedy and often the fun of the show is the goofy characters that play off each other. ‘Reno 911!: Miami’ is an elongated R-rated episode of ‘Reno 911!’ and it works well. There are some gags that don’t pan out  and there are a couple of slow spots but on the whole I liked the movie and laughed quite a bit.

The plot, such as it is, is actually is a bit of genius in its simplicity of set up. The Reno cops get invited to a big law enforcement convention in Miami and head off for some fun in the sun. Once in Miami they find that their id badges have been misplaced, and the hapless Reno folks can’t get in. Dejected, the group goes out and parties their brains out. Hung over and disoriented, they return the next day to the center only to find that it has been hit with a chemical attack. Everyone inside has been poisoned and the Reno troops are the only law enforcement folks in Miami untouched. It’s a clever excuse to let the Reno officers go to town in Miami. I’ve been trying not to give away any of the jokes in my description of ‘Reno 911!: Miami’ (although the advertising gives away several of the funny moments) but I will say there are quite a few laughs in the film.

The trouble comes when some of the jokes fall flat. The show ‘Reno 911!’ is generally several different sketches following the officers on various calls, separated by commercials. When the format is translated to the big screen it doesn’t always work and some of the transitions between sketches can be a bit jarring. Still, I laughed a lot during ‘Reno 911!: Miami’ and have no problem recommending it to those that don’t mind the pseudo documentary style of the film. Highlights include: a long sequence involving what the Reno cops end up doing on their first night in Miami and an absolutely hilarious scene involving Lieutenant Dangle (Thomas Lennon) and Deputy Trudy (Kerri Kenney) spending a night together in a hotel room. 

I really don’t want to say much more but I will mention there are a slew of cameos and supporting roles, many of whom are quite funny. One actor who pops up in a supporting role is Patton Oswalt as embittered second-assistant to the mayor: Jeff Spoder. Oswalt seems right at home in the universe of the Reno folks and it is no surprise as he is a talented comic and has been on the Reno TV show. Many of the Reno cast come from a great little sketch comedy show called ‘The State’ and their wacked out sense of humor permeates a lot of the gags in ‘Reno 911!: Miami’. (Also some members of ‘The State’ pop up in cameos.)

Some critics have mentioned that one must be a die-hard ‘Reno 911!’ fan to enjoy the film. I don’t think that is the case so much as one must be at least partial to the show. In the same way that some sketches and episodes of ‘Reno 911!’ can be hit or miss so too can parts of ‘Reno 911!: Miami’. There were enough laughs to make an easy recommendation. If you do see the film, stay for the credits because there are some seriously funny deleted scenes during them. Recommended.


'Reno 911!: Miami' Links:

'Reno 911!' TV Show Website


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