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Reno 911!: Miami (Unrated)

The filmmakers and stars likely wish it was otherwise, but whether you'll enjoy Reno 911!: Miami (2007) depends almost entirely on whether you're a fan of the faux-documentary TV show it's based on. If you are, grab your short-shorts and aviator sunglasses and push "Play": In their first big-screen adventure, the incompetent officers of the Reno Sheriff's Department are just as delightfully moronic — and entertaining — as they have been for four seasons on Comedy Central (plus, there's nudity and unbleeped swearing!). Led by out-and-proud Lieutenant Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon), deputies Travis Junior (director Robert Ben Garant), Trudy Wiegel (Kerri Kenney-Silver), James Garcia (Carlos Alazraqi), Clementine Johnson (Wendi McLendon-Covey), S. Jones (Cedric Yarbrough), Raineesha Williams (Niecy Nash), and Cherisha Kimball (Mary Birdsong) head to Miami for a national police convention, where — true to form — they're turned away at the registration desk. But when a bioterrorist attack results in every other law enforcement official in town being quarantined, the acting mayor (Patton Oswalt) has no choice but to put Reno's best out on the streets. Ostensibly their goal is to hunt down an antidote for the virus affecting the other cops (a storyline that ends up involving a colorful drug kingpin played gleefully by Paul Rudd), but it's really all about the typical Reno 911! mayhem — having run-ins with whale and alligator corpses, crashing Sug' Knight's party, patrolling the beach in wildly inappropriate swimwear, and so on. As always, the most impressive thing about Reno is the cast's stellar improvisational skills. All of them are completely committed to their characters, from promiscuous Clemmie to racist Junior to one-brick-shy-of-a-load Wiegel (Kenney-Silver's cheerfully cracked performance is consistently a stand-out) … which is the only way to explain how they made it through some of the crazier scenes without cracking up. Happily, folks watching at home are under no such obligation. There's plenty more to laugh at on Fox's unrated DVD, including two in-character commentary tracks (one is shared by Garant, Kenney-Silver, Lennon, and Nash; the other belongs to Alazraqi, McLendon-Covey, Yarbrough, and Birdsong), more than an hour's worth of extended scenes (improv veteran Mindy Sterling shines as Oswalt's mother in a long scene that was cut from the final film), and four fake PSAs targeted at movie-theater no-nos (talking, illegal pirating, etc.). Other extras include a third commentary — this time featuring Garant, Lennon, and Kenney-Silver (all of whom have been working together for years) as themselves — a brief featurette from Fox Movie Channel about the film's premiere, and trailers. The anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) is fine, though the production values aren't much higher here than they are for TV, so there's not much to show off. Audio options include Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby 2.0 Surround in French and Spanish, and English and Spanish subtitles. Keep-case.
—Betsy Bozdech



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