Have you ever tried to take a joke that normally takes five minutes to tell and try to stretch it to 15 minutes? Aside from seeing it as a very difficult task, you begin to wonder why you are trying to do it in the first place. The same theory should apply to taking a 30-minute television show and stretching it into a 90-minute movie. Yet, for some reason people in Hollywood don’t have that little voice in their head saying, “This is dumb!”
Whether haphazardly stumbling in the footsteps of The Dukes of Hazzard or making an attempt to recreate the magical success that Borat experienced last year, creator Ben Garant has decided to take his famed sitcom Reno 911! to the big screen. In Reno 911!: Miami, the now infamous members of the Reno sheriff’s department descend upon Miami Beach, Florida and the National Police Convention. Upon arrival though, they learn that something has gone wrong with their reservation and they are not allowed in. After a night of boozing (and some lewd sexual conduct), they decide to return on the second day of the convention for another try, only to find out that every policeman in Miami Beach has been trapped inside the convention center at the hands of a biological terror attack. Left with no other viable options, the Department of Homeland Security tasks out the bumbling team of cops from Reno to keep Miami Beach in order and find the antidote before thousands of cops meet their unfortunate end.
Along the way Reno’s finest, lead by the dashing and tight-shorts wearing Lt. Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon), meet a host of interested characters, some familiar (Nick Swardson as Terry, the rollerblading male prostitute) and some welcomed surprises (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as a badass S.W.A.T. guy who has trouble holding onto his grenades). As with the Comedy Central show upon which the film is based, the most humorous moments are based on interactions with locals, well-timed celebrity cameos (Danny DeVito and Paul Rudd, to name a few) and some raunchy innuendo. But instead of just innuendo, the film version takes the liberty to show off its R rating and throw in some language, some direct sexual themes and of course some gratuitous nudity – much of what you would expect from the Reno crew on the big screen. But while the film itself has a very inappropriate feel to it, it pales in comparison to the likes of Borat, which was just the most sinful experience you could possibly have in theaters without going to one of those “Adults Only” establishments.
And though it gets some laughs the old fashioned way (superfluous masturbation references), Ben Garant’s adaptation does run into a few problems when it realizes that 30 minutes worth of jokes just won’t cut it. Some parts seem trite and unnecessary and some just don’t fit, specifically any time actress Niecy Nash sports a thong – it just didn’t do it for me. Much of the movie feels like useless filler just to get you from one joke to the next, giving the film a very choppy feel.
But despite its gaping holes of humorlessness, Reno 911!: Miami is still funnier than the rest of the schlock you’ll see this early in the year. The raunchy, uncomfortable moments make the film bearable, and while it doesn’t even come close to being this year’s Borat, it is funny enough to keep you around until the final credits.
Reno 911!: Miami is in theaters now, has a running time of 84 minutes and is rated R for sexual content, nudity, crude humor, language and drug use.