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Reno 911!: Miami
The ultimate television to film adaptation
Reno 911!: Miami
The Crew of "Reno 911" in their Big Screen Movie.
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $20,000,000
OTHER PREVIEWS: Alatriste (7/10)
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

September 25th, 2006: The rag-tag team of police officers from The Washoe County Sheriff’s Department in Reno, Nevada gets invited to Miami Beach for a national law enforcement convention. Led by Lieutenant Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon), the deputies happily make the trip to the gathering. Unfortunately, Dangle’s inadequacy at handling the reservations leaves the entire group without passes to the conference and without rooms at the hotel where all the other police officers are staying. They are forced to settle on the beach in a seedy hotel for spring-breakers with nothing to do for the remainder of their stay. Their visit gets a lot more interesting when a terrorist bio attack is carried out on the convention center where all the cops are assembled. While every single officer is sealed off inside as part of a quarantine, the Reno group ends up as the only law enforcement on the outside. With the Homeland Security team busy chasing after the perpetrators, the eight cops are forced to take on Miami’s crime problems all on their own, despite their total lack of familiarity with the area.

What to Expect: This film obviously represents little more than just a minor upgrade to the popular cable television series that has aired on Comedy Central since 2003. Created by Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, and Kerri Kenney, “Reno 911!” is essentially a send up of reality television shows, a “Cops” mockumentary that takes a behind-the-scenes look at a group of eight eccentric misfits working together as a police unit in Reno, Nevada. Garant, Lennon, and Kenney collaborated on the script and star in the film, with Garant taking on directing duties for the feature as well.

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All eight of the principal players from the television show will make the transition to the big screen. Lennon stars as the leader of the pack, the short shorts-loving Lieutenant Jim Dangle. Garant plays Travis Junior, a simpleton of a police officer who has never set foot outside of Reno before. Kenney reprises her role as the bizarro deputy Trudy Wiegel. Cedric Yarbrough stars as deputy S. Jones, a slick ladies man. Carlos Alazraqui is deputy James Garcia, the tough guy of the group. Wendi McLendon-Covey plays Clementine Johnson, a promiscuous former stripper now working as a cop. Niecy Nash brings tons of attitude as the sassy deputy Raineesha Williams. Finally, Mary Birdsong rounds out the main line-up as the mannish deputy Cheresa Kimball.

As a bonus upgrade, a few prominent celebrities will pop in to make an appearance in the flick. Danny DeVito, who is also on board as a producer, has a bit part in the picture. The typically mellow Paul Rudd is clearly going against the grain to take on the role of a major drug dealer that finds himself in conflict with the Reno cops. Nick Swardson, Michael Ian Black, David Koechner, and Patton Oswalt are all set for their routine stand-up comedian cameos. Somehow Paul Reubens, AKA Pee-wee Herman, seems right at home in this movie as well. And finally, The Rock takes a break from roles that actually help his career to make a brief cameo of his own.

On an interesting side note, Reno 911!: Miami will mark the reunion of all 11 members of the influential sketch comedy show, “The State,” which aired on MTV from 1993 to 1995. Along with classic series like “Beavis and Butt-Head,” it marked the beginning of the channel’s move away from playing actual music videos to the now more preferred “hip” programming. Garant, Lennon, and Kenney all got their big breaks on “The State,” as did the other eight members. Since the show ended, they’ve all moved in separate directions with their respective careers, starting other short-lived series or popping in for bit roles in major Hollywood features. For example, programs like “Stella” and “Viva Variety” have all been spawned by ‘State’ alumni. Now, a scene that takes place in a tattoo parlor where Clementine is commemorating one of her one-night stands, will bring them all together into one room for the first time (both on or off-camera) since “The State” went off the air. Longtime fans will rejoice to hear that in an interview with MTV, Lennon hinted at a possible future live tour by all of the former members of “The State.” It seems like the reunion has been a rather positive one for all of them.

Garant promises that anyone that loved the television show will also love the big screen adaptation, which is going to be exactly like the TV show – an improvisational mockumentary featuring all of the principal cast members. While the scale may get a little bigger, the entire premise will remain as simple as it can be – all handheld cameras, a bunch of people running around in cop cars, and nothing fancy. Essentially, there will probably not be much more here that could be shown on television in a three-parter or perhaps even a one-hour special for that matter, although the filmmakers are likely to take full advantage of the ‘R’ rating and throw in some extra profanity and gratuitous nudity. Stuff that would have to be censored out on Comedy Central will make it in here, but I’m not sure if that warrants anything more than a DVD release. With the film, the crew is clearly following in the footsteps of the makers of Borat and is hoping to find a reception with equally open arms. Unfortunately, this project reminds me more of the abysmal comedy Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, which proved to be a disastrous film based on a fairly funny Comedy Central show starring Martin Short, called “Primetime Glick.” Instead of focusing on the amusing incompetence of the main character that was brought out so perfectly by the mock interviews on the television program, the movie reveled in an appalling plot that had none of the whimsical charm. Reno 911!: Miami doesn’t strike me as a project that will be any more relevant, but at least it is wisely sticking to the formula that has worked on TV, without veering too far away into new and unnecessary ideas.

In Conclusion: I still see this as little more than either a television special or a direct to DVD feature, but there might be something to it. It’s obvious that a good portion of the fan base will turn out. Additionally, if the filmmakers do a good job of marketing the sunny locations, the nice beaches, and the attractive women, viewers unfamiliar with the show may be suckered into buying tickets as well. It could certainly seem like a nice alternative in the middle of a cold February.

Similar Titles: Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach, Malibu’s Most Wanted
February 23rd, 2007 (wide)
June 19th, 2007 (DVD)

Paramount Pictures

Ben Garant

Danny DeVito, Paul Reubens, Paul Rudd, Thomas Lennon, Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney, Cedric Yarbrough, Carlos Alazraqui, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Niecy Nash, Mary Birdsong, Nick Swardson, Michael Ian Black, David Koechner, Patton Oswalt, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Total: 76 vote(s).


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Rated R for sexual content, nudity, crude humor, language and drug use

84 min





Reno 911!: Miami at RottenTomatoes.com

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