Reno 911!: Miami
Great-grandfather Sherlock (whose name one hates to drop so early during a case) has had his methods improved upon by crime scene investigators for over a century now. My elder brother, Mycroft Holmes IV, has used this excuse to absent himself from anything even resembling the scene of a crime for years. But after Mycroft used a similar excuse in his refusal to accompany me to the local bargain cinema to see “Reno 911!: Miami,” I was quite proud to know that forensic science doesn’t seem to be the only area of endeavor where my illustrious ancestor made his mark.
Making Scotland Yard look foolish was a second field where great-grandfather would seem to have inspired those who came after, and no example of that art would be more typical of the modern state of law-enforcement-belittling than Comedy Central’s half-hour weekly mockumentary “Reno 911!”. An obvious play on television’s “COPS,” “Reno 911!” has settled into the comedy channel’s stable of staple fare as much as “The Dave Chapelle Show,” “The Daily Show,” or “South Park.”
Translated to the big screen and on a field trip to Miami, the sheriff’s deputies of “Reno 911!” don’t fare badly at all. Being the great-grandson of Sherlock Holmes, of course (Do I mention that too much? My apologies.), I might be seen as a bit biased in the case of anything that makes fun of America’s Scotland Yard, but I still have to say, what holds true for the TV comedy seems to work on the big screen as well: the Reno squad aren’t so much depictions of cops in real-life as a sad-sack group of co-workers one might find in any work setting. They just happen to have firearms.
There’s both a sympathetic side to the men and women behind the badges in “Reno 911!: Miami” and a disgusting side that one never got in the weak tea of the old “Police Academy” comedies. Both come out during one bedroom-farce sequence late at night at a cheap motel, as the cops wander the walkways trying hopelessly to pair up, with most of them winding up pleasuring themselves – like I said, this is not weak tea, or even tea that the waiter didn’t expectorate in at some point. Take the level of your standard Comedy Central raunchy humor and add the freedom of an “R” rating, and you get something that you probably aren’t going to take the Irregulars or Mrs. Hudson to see.
In it’s best moments, however, “Reno 911!: Miami” will make you laugh out loud with its little twists, turns, and physical comedy. The guest stars sprinkled throughout are a joy, And yes, gentlemen, it’s not the Victorian era any more . . . you get to see someone topless at a topless beach for enough time that Watson could have written paragraphs of description about the client involved.
At it’s worst, “Reno 911!: Miami” is just like the TV show . . . a bit rambling, a little unpleasant to look at, a bit frightening to the homophobe in every straight Fifth Northumberland Fusilier. But somehow they manage to get it all contained in an overall plot with a beginning and an end, and I found it quite pleasant to see those old friends from Reno in a movie all their own.
My advice to the unwary client, however: sample the television show first.
What Great-Grandfather Sherlock would have said about “Reno 911!: Miami”:
“I could hardly have missed it . . . I often ventured to chaff you gentlemen of the police force, but Cyanea capillata very nearly avenged Scotland Yard.”