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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘911’ captures audience

    It’s always tricky trying to bring a television show to the big screen.

    Stretching a half-hour show out to an hour and a half does not always work too well, and sometimes it seems like the movie is just one long episode. That’s exactly how “”Reno 911!: Miami”” turned out – and it works perfectly.

    The TV show “”Reno 911!”” started out as a spoof of “”Cops”” but it now has a life of its own following a hapless group of Reno County Sheriff’s deputies as they try to overcome their own stupidity to stop crime. In the film, the gang, led by Lt. Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon) and his disturbingly short shorts, travels to Miami Beach for a law enforcement conference, only to be left out because of a reservation problem.

    They soon become the only hope for the city when the entire Miami Beach police department is quarantined in a hotel by a bio-terrorism attack. As they desperately try to answer 911 calls, they encounter a series of ridiculous situations including alligators and an exploding whale.

    Early on the deputies receive a call about a gunman on a roof, only to find out that it’s actually just a chicken in the road, so they decide to all fire at it at the same time. A running mystery throughout the movie involves a tattoo of a man’s face that Deputy Johnson (Wendi McLendon-Covey) gets while drunk, and she spends the rest of the movie trying to figure out whose face it is. The movie also skewers action films with plenty of completely unnecessary explosions.

    Although the movie plays out like an extended episode, there are still plenty of big laughs. Some of the most hilarious moments came from the awkward conversations between the deputies, especially when Deputy Wiegel (Kerri Kenny-Silver) desperately tries to seduce Lt.

    “”Reno 911!: Miami””
    Rating: R
    Length: 81 min.
    Production Company: Paramount Pictures

    Dangle, in a hotel room, ignoring his clear homosexuality. There are also great cameos by Dwayne “”The Rock”” Johnson, Patton Oswalt (as the panicked deputy mayor), Paul Reubens, Michael Ian Black and Nick Swardson in a hilarious role as the male prostitute Terry, who makes regular appearances on the show.

    The only thing shorter than Dangle’s shorts is the running time, as the film clocks in at fewer than 90 minutes. The plot is somewhat thin, but in a movie like this it doesn’t matter much. Also, although the movie is extremely funny, it doesn’t break any new ground that hasn’t been covered on the show before; many of the jokes are similar, albeit raunchier.

    In addition, one of the best aspects of the show, the often racially-charged interaction between deputies Jones (Cedric Yarbrough) and Garcia (Carlos Alazraqui), is almost completely missing from the film, except when they are repeatedly kidnapped by a drug lord who has watched “”Scarface”” too many times.

    One might ask, “”If it’s just like a long episode of the show, why make a movie in the first place?”” The obvious answer is that an R rating means that they can get away with much more than they can on Comedy Central. And they do. There are copious amounts of nudity (both the kind that you want to see and some that you don’t), profanity and sexual language. Strangely enough, many of the edgier racial jokes that are common on the show are absent.

    With movies for “”The Simpsons”” and “”Aqua Teen Hunger Force”” coming out later this year, it’s good to know that when you make a movie out of a TV show, it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece to have the audience howling with laughter.

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