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Movie Review: Reno 911: Miami

Reno 911: Miami
Directed by Ben Garant
Writen by Garant, Thomas Lennon, and Kerri Kenney

Critical and cult hit Reno 911! is a pretty funny TV show, but stretched out into a movie, the jokes don’t land nearly as hard.  However, there’s still enough in this to recommend, especially to die hard fans.  It’s just not a breakaway comedy classic, either.

The Reno police force, headed by the short-shorts of Lieutenant Jim Dangle (Lennon) go to Miami for a police convention, and it’s not too long before every cop in Miami is quarantined in a building due to some biotech scare.  So, Reno’s finest, who are of course ridiculously bad at their jobs, have to keep the city safe.  A couple of subplots include a Scarface-esque gangster played by Paul Rudd, and a Miami police chief played by Patton Oswalt.  There a few notable cameos, but this is mostly the job-to-job antics of the Reno team (including Garant, Kenney, Mary Birdsong, Niecy Nash, Carlos Alazraqui, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Cedric Yarbrough) many of them eventually resorting to sex and gross-out gags.

There’s a pretty funny hotel room scene that’s a bit like Hitchcock’s Rear Window, and most of the laughter comes from the awkward dialogue and knowing exactly when to end a scene.  Like I mentioned before, this isn’t a laugh-out-loud movie throughout, it still works best as a thirty-minute show, but if you’re interested, you should get some laughs out of it.

It’s kind of hard to figure out writers Garant and Lennon, who wrote the screenplay for this past December’s Night at the Museum, a huge hit if not a critical darling, but also The Pacifier (same thing), and absolute dogs Taxi, Herbie: Fully Loaded, and Let’s Go to Prison.  Veterans of the cult skit show The State, this seems to be their forte.  How they get into the other kinds of movies doesn’t make much sense, but hey, it’s a living.


Comment from Jonathan
Time: February 23, 2007, 11:57 am

It’s probably like Ben Affleck tells Matt Damon in “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” about doing the safe picture so you can do the art film. Not that “Reno 911″ is an art film, but I think it’s what these boys would rather be doing. So, by writing the bigger budget films there allowed to play around with these types of things and get pretty good releases for them as well. Just a theory.

Comment from KW
Time: February 23, 2007, 4:28 pm

Taste in film and TV is subjective.

That being said…the trailers for this movie have never once struck me as funny. Nor has the tv show, which I’ve seen twice. I keep hearing that it’s funny, but I didn’t see anything resembling funny when I watched. Granted…that was back in its first season, so maybe things have changed.

Comment from The Projectionist
Time: February 23, 2007, 5:57 pm

You’re probably right about the “do one for them, do one for us” dogma, Jonny. It just seems a little bit strange that they do a lot of kid stuff, though. I guess it’s more marketable than adult comedies.

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