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Movie Review

Conceived as a send-up of the long-running reality show COPS, Comedy Central's loosely scripted Reno 911! follows a ragtag police force as it employs the most ineffective, perverse crime-stopping measures imaginable. For four seasons fans have watched as the blockheads at the Reno Sheriff's Department managed to botch even the simplest of response calls. Now, as if restless from the confines of their desert town—or the crass cable channel's few remaining limits on decency—these characters head for the big screen in a fish-out-of-water story that actor Carlos Alazraqui calls "Reno 911! on steroids."

Delighted to finally receive an elusive invite to the American Police Convention, Reno's "finest" head to Miami to network and ... party! Their frivolity is interrupted, however, by the need for (gulp!) actual police work. Troop Reno arrives at the event center to find that all conventioneers, including Miami's entire police force, have been quarantined for exposure to bioterrorism contagions. From the city's underbelly emerges Ethan the Drug Lord—modeled obviously on Scarface's Tony Montana—who may be responsible. And he's going to have to be handled by Lt. Dangle and deputies Jones, Garcia, Johnson, Wiegel, Kimball, Williams and Travis Junior. They're aided only by Jeff Spoder, an interim mayor who spends most of his screen time panicking.

Sound interesting? It's not. Says Thomas Lennon, who plays Dangle, "Anything that needs to be established about these characters can be figured out within a minute into the film. I mean, look at my character. He wears a ridiculous uniform, he has highlights in his hair and he's armed. We go from there."

Positive Elements

For all their faults—and there are many—the Reno squad is at least a tight-knit bunch. There's surprisingly little infighting. They pal around off-duty, and Dangle goes so far as to call his deputies his family (a pronouncement he immediately rescinds).

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Even on cable TV where almost anything goes these days, Reno 911! has become notorious for pushing the limits with its bawdy characters. Are they, then, going to pull back on the big screen? Hardly. Nothing is left on the cutting room floor. Everything 80 minutes will allow and a finely tuned dirty mind can imagine is vomited out in giant proportions. Masturbation. Intercourse. Oral sex. Risqué outfits. Lengthy scenes featuring topless women. An endless barrage of assorted sex jokes.

A drawn-out scene shows multiple officers masturbating under sheets and bath towels as part of their individual bedtime routines. (Williams appears in lingerie and with a dildo.) Dangle agrees to a "pity f---" with Wiegel. What follows involves an irrelevant (at least for the purposes of this review) sleight-of-camera trick, images of a fully nude couple having sex (their lower parts are barely obscured; their motions not at all) and a gag involving pubic hair.

Countless scenes show Dangle stripped down to his thong bikini underwear. Other shots show him completely naked (from the back). And he's not the only one—or of the only gender—who strips down. There are many female beachgoers who are also seen wearing thong bikinis. The cops respond to a complaint at a nude beach and find the caller topless; she remains that way for the duration of the scene. A plumber doubles as a tattoo artist so he can fondle Johnson's tattooed breast. Travis Junior flirts with a scantily clad woman, who's later revealed to be months away from turning 14. He also has a fantasy about shaving a beauty pageant winner.

Amid a long list of other offenses, the movie crudely jokes about homosexuality, anal and oral sex, genitalia, rape, bikini waxes, yeast infections ... and on and on it goes.

Violent Content

Some of the film's violence goes beyond what you might expect to find in a madcap romp as several characters are killed or left for dead. An officer is obliterated offscreen by a hand grenade, resulting in onscreen blood spatter. A drug trafficker gets shot in the chest, leaving yet another blood-stained wall. After foolishly entering a pool with an alligator, a local is dragged underwater as the water roils and turns red. Jones and Garcia are kidnapped by Ethan's goons and forced to watch (thankfully, we're not) a man tortured with a weed whacker to the face.

In a failed bulletproof-vest demonstration an officer is shot in the arm. Police open fire during a low-speed pursuit—on golf carts. A chicken standing in the road is nearly shot; officers finally handcuff it instead. Wiegel accidentally fires a helicopter's missile at a police cruiser, in the process blowing up an arrested criminal who's inside. Along with mistakenly destroying a parked van, cops dynamite a beached whale, scattering the mammal's parts across the seashore.

Lt. Dangle crashes face-first on a motorcycle. Numerous scenes show the Reno officers running into each others' cars as they attempt to leave a police lot. Asleep at the wheel, Travis Junior smashes through a porta-potty. A woman also zaps him with her stun gun. Two men mistakenly light themselves on fire while trying to kill a gasoline-doused captive. Garcia punches a woman hard during a mud wrestling competition.

Crude or Profane Language

The f-word is used more than 30 times, while the s-word and abuses of God's name (often in combination with "d--n") are uttered almost as frequently. Jesus' name is profaned half-a-dozen times. Other language includes "b--ch," "a--hole" and a variety of coarse-to-vulgar-to-obscene sexual terms. "N-gga" is heard once.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Travis Junior relates that Reno is "a lot like Mayberry—except that everybody's on crystal meth and prostitution's legal." Indeed, drugs are rampant throughout the movie. A bikini-clad girl on Ethan's boat repeatedly snorts cocaine while drinking liquor. Though we discover she's actually an FBI agent, her title apparently makes no difference to her as she unabashedly tells the officers, "It's OK, 'cause I'll keep doing it." (She dies of a massive overdose.) Other characters joke about using cocaine, marijuana and acid.

Liquor flows freely for the Reno officers, both on and off the job. Before his sexual encounter with Wiegel, Dangle takes a seemingly endless chug from a bottle of Jack Daniel's. A bus driver is shown drinking at the wheel. One character mixes alcohol with Pepto-Bismol while sitting on the toilet. A club scene shows two women leaning backwards over a table as bartenders pour what looks like tequila into their mouths. Several characters smoke cigarettes.

Other Negative Elements

Two officers confuse a proctology instrument for a bong in what is perhaps the film's scatological low point. It makes the scene in which a deputy accidentally breaks through a whale's skin and into the beast's stomach seem like a Nickelodeon prank. At a party a woman throws up on an officer. Police urinate and defecate at the side of the road. (They're either facing away from the camera or hidden by bushes.)

Conclusion

The creators of Reno 911!: Miami aimed for the gutter and hit it. And they're willing to admit as much. "We have a lot of naked boobs in the film," says actor/writer/director Robert Ben Garant, who's responsible for producing the TV show, too. "A lot of boobs." In every sense of the word.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

R

Readability Age Range

Genre

Comedy

Author

Cast

Thomas Lennon as Lt. Jim Dangle; Robert Ben Garant as Deputy Travis Junior; Cedric Yarbrough as Deputy S. Jones; Carlos Alazraqui as Deputy James Garcia; Wendi McLendon-Covey as Deputy Clementine Johnson; Kerri Kenney-Silver as Deputy Trudy Wiegel; Mary Birdsong as Deputy Cheresa Kimball; Niecy Nash as Deputy Raineesha Williams; Danny DeVito as District Attorney; The Rock as SWAT Leader Rick Smith

Director

Robert Ben Garant ( )

Distributor

20th Century Fox

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Jeremy Lees

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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