Reno 911!: Miami (15)

Film

Action and adventure

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Time Out says

Tue Apr 24 2007

A verité riff on the ‘Police Academy’ series is the idea behind cult US sitcom ‘Reno 911!’, which, here, is stretched to breaking point for this puerile punt at cinematic glory. Sending up the empty machismo and pointless scaremongering of reality TV shows like ‘Cops’, the film centres on the rag-bag workforce of the Reno Sheriff’s Department and the mayhem that ensues when they are invited to a police convention in Miami. An episodic narrative is used as an excuse to string together lots of mini set-pieces, including the team’s attempts at removing a dead Sperm Whale from a topless beach, a police chase in golf carts and a lengthy paean to masturbating with the curtains open. As with Christopher Guest’s films, it’s when the characters are aware of the camera’s presence that the funnies slowly begin to emerge but, in this case, it’s from amid a comic debris of gay stereotypes, scatological absurdism and – the Hollywood comedy accessory du jour – a prosthetically-enhanced rump.

Instead of using this jump to the big screen to potentially spread the ‘Reno 911!’ brand to a wider audience, there’s the impression that the makers have chosen to play to the gallery and merely up the levels of swearing and nudity. The trashy production values and a general air of shabbiness in both performance and dialogue give it the feel of a community theatre project that’s accidentally spilled onto the streets. Hopefully, the film will be put to good application as a cautionary tale for those writers who have neglected the fact that sitcoms run at 30 minutes with very good reason.

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