Reno 911: Miami

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Reno 911: Miami Opens today Grade: C+

Reno 911 is at its best when the ensemble of freakish sheriff's deputies are on the streets interacting with equally freakish citizens of Reno. The Comedy Central show is at its worst when it focuses for too long on trying to gross out its audience.

Take it from an Office devotee: Awkwardness rules. Unfortunately, the film version of Reno, hilariously titled Reno 911: Miami, spends too much time dwelling on sexual or physical weirdness, overwhelming and undermining the other comedic elements. And, at the heart of the matter, the movie fails to deliver the belly laughs that a big, dumb comedy should provide. The gratuitous breast shots on the nude beach are more memorable than any of these jokes.

For those unfamiliar with the show, the film begins by introducing its seven or eight main characters, then quickly sets up the hijinks. The Reno Sheriff's Department gets invited to the national police convention in Miami, charters a bus, and arrives to find out the convention lost the department's registration. Forced to stay in a seedy hotel away from the rest of the police, the Reno deputies aren't in the convention center when a bioterrorist traps the entire Miami police force inside. Conveniently, our ragtag heroes are called into action, charged with policing all of Miami.

With a premise like that, no one should expect smart comedy. But they should absolutely expect funny comedy, and too many of these scenes fall flat. Strangely, the film becomes most enjoyable in its final third, when it sprouts a slightly more coherent but still pleasantly ridiculously plot out of nowhere.

Reno does has its share of highlights: The team's ultimate method of dealing with a beached whale, the kidnapping, white-suited mobster and his minions' botched gasoline stunt, and the drunken gator-baiter come to mind. But the lack of consistent laughs plants this flick firmly in the "Rent Me" pile.