MOVIE REVIEW- Dangle-ing participle: Silliness reigns in Reno 911!
The advantage of not belonging to the National Society of Film Critics is that one is permitted to enjoy a movie like Reno 911!: Miami without lamenting its lack of intellectual content.
As fans of Comedy Central's Reno-bound COPS spoof know, this is pure silliness. Not silliness with a brain, like Borat, nor silliness as a bad role model (unless you aspire to work for the Sheriff's Dept.), like Jackass.
Reno 911! is about a diverse group of imperfect people doing the best they can in an imperfect world, while having all their foibles photographed; and although they usually stay in their Nevada town where there's a limit to the damage they can do, for the big screen they take their show on the road. The crew of eight heads for Miami for "three days of fun in the sun" at the American Police Convention. (The dates are April 7-12, but in a movie like this, continuity errors may be intentional.)
They are four men and four women; four white, three black, one Hispanic; one gay, one lesbian and six presumed heterosexual, though from what we see most of their action is without partners.
Their leader is Lt. Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon), who looks like a Village Person in shorter, tighter pants. Though desired by Deputy Trudy Wiegel (Kerri Kenney-Silver), he puts her off with statements like, "I'm playing for ‘Visitor.'"
"I don't appreciate you insinuating that I'm some lesbian," says Deputy Cherisha Kimball (Mary Birdsong), as half a women's basketball team files out of her motel room. Deputy Raineesha Williams (Niecy Nash) has an eat-your-heart-out-Penelope Cruz fake booty that's visible from space, and Deputy Clementine Johnson (Wendi McLendon-Covey) spends most of the film investigating how she got a "tight tit tat" of an unidentified man one drunken evening. At least somebody's investigating something.
Rounding out the team are Deputies Travis Junior (Robert Ben Garant, who directed and co-wrote with Lennon and Kenney-Silver), S. Jones (Cedric Yarborough) and James Garcia (Carlos Alazraqui).
If there's not much space left for plot details, that's okay because there's not much plot. A mixup in credentials keeps our guys out of the convention center when it's quarantined by what sounds like an old "24" plot. With the local force trapped as well, it leaves Reno 911 to become Miami 911 and save the city from chaos– but who's going to save the city from them?
Along the way you find out why a chicken doesn't cross the road in Miami, and "Who brings a Weed Whacker on a boat?" The latter answer is Paul Rudd, doing his best bad Pacino-as-Scarface impression.
There are guests galore, from producer Danny DeVito to The Rock to Paul Reubens.
I could tell you I didn't laugh much at Reno 911!: Miami, but I'd risk being tried for perjury if they ever start a Law & Order: Reno.