RENO 911!: MIAMI
*** (out of 5)
February 23, 2007
Carlos Alazraqui as DEPUTY JAMES GARCIA
Mary Birdsong as DEPUTY CHERISHA KIMBALL
Ben Garant as DEPUTY TRAVIS JUNIOR
Kerri Kenney as DEPUTY TRUDY WIEGEL
Thomas Lennon as LIEUTENANT JIM DANGLE
Wendi McLendon-Covey as DEPUTY CLEMINTINE JOHNSON
Niecy Nash as DEPUTY RAINEESHA WILLIAMS
Cedric Yarbrough as DEPUTY S. JONES
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: Ben Garant
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
I have to admit that I was somewhat surprised that Hollywood made a feature film based on another niche television show. These don’t always do well, but I suppose that in the creative vacuum of Hollywood, this makes sense.
Based on the cult show on Comedy Central, “Reno 911!: Miami” follows the moronic Reno sheriff’s office to Miami Beach for a police convention. When a terrorist attack quarantines the entire police force in the city, the Reno cops are the only ones left to protect and serve.
One of the problems of adapting any television show with a strong cult following is the danger of leaving new viewers in the dust. I think that was one of the biggest problems with “Serenity,” which was a feature film based on the wildly popular but seldom watched Joss Whedon show “Firefly.” I never watched the show, so I was somewhat lost in the feature film.
Fortunately for the makers of “Reno 911!: Miami,” there’s little chance of anyone getting lost with in-depth character arcs and nuances from the original show. It’s not a plot-heavy movie, but I doubt that anyone eager to see anything from the “Reno 911!” gang is expecting that at all.
All you need to know about “Reno 911” is that the Reno sheriff’s department is completely bonkers. The fact that Dangle is a flamboyant homosexual, Clementine is a lusty nympho, Deputy Kimball is a lesbian in denial and Deputy Williams has the largest butt in the known universe all comes out pretty clearly in the first couple minutes of the movie.
Mockumentaries are tough to do. Christopher Guest and company seem to have them down to a formula… at least until they released “For Your Consideration” last year. The best one I’ve seen in a while is “Borat.” A show like “Reno 911!” has the advantage of putting itself into a “COPS” format, making it a little different than the others out there.
Fans of the show should love this film. With the protection of an R-rating, the film gets away with a lot more than it ever would on basic cable. It’s a film chock-full of violent slapstick, sexual innuendo (or downright blatant sexual depiction) and dirty jokes – all without the annoying beeping you’d normally hear over the curse words.
In addition to the hilarious cast, there are some great cameo and supporting performances from Patton Oswalt and Paul Rudd. However, the stand-out bit part comes from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. His knack for humor is great, which we saw in last year’s stinker “Be Cool.” Instead of being an action star, this guy has a serious chance career as a funnyman.
Most of this film is a clunky excuse to bring the modern-day keystone cops out of Reno, Nevada and turn them loose on the streets of Miami. Maybe it was a gimmick for a change in scenery. After all, so much of the Reno misadventures are covered in the series.
Or perhaps this was just an excuse to show a lot of girls in bikinis. I don’t care what the reason is, but it was a good decision either way. The scenery is great, by which I don’t mean the ocean view.
“Reno 911!: Miami” is no “Borat,” but it’s still pretty funny if you let yourself get lost in the stupidity. I’m not too embarrassed to say that I found myself laughing quite a bit.