Reno 911!: Miami (2007)

(On DVD, November 2011) The problem with some movies based on TV shows is that if you haven’t seen the TV show… good luck.  In this case, it took me a while to understand the basic core assumptions of the film (something that the deliberately over-the-top opening sequence doesn’t help) and then be disappointed that it was so sloppy.  Language, violence and sexual references are all used indiscriminately in Reno 911!: Miami, and the result is definitively hit-and-miss.  The low budget mockumentary aesthetics occasionally lead to interesting choices (such as having confrontation scenes all play within one long shot from a distance, or the uncut hotel room sequence), but most of it just recalls low-budget TV show cinematography.  The humor isn’t necessarily accessible for those who haven’t seen the original TV show, although there are a few good gags here and there.  The succession of big-name cameos can be interesting (Dwayne Johnson’s appearance even leads to an “alternate ending” elsewhere on the DVD where the film ends after twenty minutes) and the Miami locations are used effectively.  But the film, even at 80 minutes, feels overlong: The main story too-effectively wraps up after slightly more than an hour, leading to an extended epilogue that saps the film’s energy.  It’ll do if all you’re looking for is a police comedy… but Reno 911!: Miami is amongst the dumbest of them.

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