Occasionally brilliant and still often very funny even in its weaker moments, "Reno 911" has become a hit for Comedy Central as the parody of "COPS" has gotten better and better and audiences have gotten hooked on these wonderfully flawed characters. The series follows Reno officers Deputy Raineesha Williams (Niecy Nash), Deputy Trudy Wiegel (Kerri Kenney), Deputy James Garcia (Carlos Alazraqui), Deputy S. Jones (Cedric Yarbrough), Deputy Travis Junior (Ben Garant), Deputy C. Johnson (Wendy McLendon-Covey) and Lieutenant Jim Dangle (Tom Lennon). The group barely manage to solve crimes (when they're not running away from the scene), remain largely indifferent about their failures and flaws and somehow, manage to be rather pathetic and yet, pretty endearing.
"Reno 911: Miami" takes the concept a bit further for the big screen, although the film still seems like an extended episode. The Reno officers, thrilled to be invited to the National Police Convention in Miami for once, arrive to find that they're not on the list. They wind up in a lousy hotel for the night, only to return to the convention center the next day to find that the convention center is the site of a bio-terror attack, leaving them the only police force in Miami, as the entire Miami PD is currently quarantined inside the center. The crew arrive in the sleek, modern Miami 911 center and congratulate themselves at the step-up, only to look at each other when the phone starts ringing.
Guided by an increasingly stressed deputy mayor (Patton Oswalt) and occasionally interrogated by a local gangster (Paul Rudd doing a bad "Scarface" impression), the Reno officers attempt to fight crime in Miami and get to the bottom of who's behind the attack at the convention center and save the day.
"Reno 911: Miami" is certainly slight at about 75 minutes + credits (it starts struggling right at the end to try and pass the 70 minute mark), but the movie does manage to get some great laughs and when it's not throwing out gags, it plays off the core humor of people faced with situations on a daily basis that they're wholly and completely unqualified for. The performances are just as funny and sharp as they are on the series, and the show's handheld camerawork gives the show a touch of realism that adds to the humor.
Overall, "Reno 911: Miami" isn't a classic and it's a little thin even for a sitcom brought to the big screen, but there's some good laughs to be found here and the ending suggests a potential overseas sequel.
While I can't be sure what the differences between the rated and unrated are (they're both listed as 80 minutes, so the differences can't be much), I'm guessing there's slightly more nudity here.
VIDEO: "Reno 911: Miami" is presented by 20th Century Fox in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The screening copy of the film that was provided offered so-so image quality, with some mild artifacting in several scenes and a few moments of slight edge enhancement. However, this is still not the final copy and unfortunately, I cannot make any final comments on it, as the final copy will likely offer differing (and I'm hoping better) image quality.
SOUND: The film's Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is really a pretty basic "comedy" sound mix, with not much use of the surrounds. Still, the dialogue remains crisp and clear throughout the show, with no distortion or other issues.
EXTRAS: We get no less than three different commentary tracks: one with writer/actor/producer Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kenney-Silver, as well as actor/director/producer Robert Ben Garant, one "in-character" commentary with Dangle, Junior, Weigel and Williams and the other "in-character" commentary with Garcia, Johnson, Jones and Kimball. The in-character commentaries are pretty funny, and the two groups manage to fill the time with improv "behind-the-scenes" comments well. The Silver/Lennon/Garant commentary gives a good deal of insight into the process of developing the gags, shooting on location with a slight budget, some background regarding minor supporting actors and more.
A set of 7 deleted scenes is offered with commentary. While these scenes (some deleted, some merely extended) wouldn't have really added anything to the movie, they're definitely worth watching as most of them go on and on as the cast improvs various bits, some of which are hilarious. The last two deleted scenes are over 20 minutes each, including one lengthy scene on the bus to Miami.
We also get the trailer, PSAs starring the Reno officers, Fox Movie Channel World Premiere featurette and trailers for "Family Guy" and "Grandma's Boy".
Final Thoughts: Overall, "Reno 911: Miami" isn't a classic and it's a little thin even for a sitcom brought to the big screen, but there's some good laughs to be found here and the ending suggests a potential overseas sequel. Recommended as a purchase for fans; others should definitely try a rental.
The Film B