First I must confess: I have never seen a whole episode of the television show “Reno 911!” Having admitted that, I can say that I laughed out loud quite a few times watching the film.

The Comedy Central show uses a mockumentary format, following the Reno, Nev. Police Department as they bumble through crime solving. The police officers are vain, lazy, self-important and ineffectual.

For the film version of the television show (a marketing idea that in general I find silly and stupid – see “Top 10 List”), the Reno cops go to Miami and, as a result of a terrorist scare, end up being the only flatfoots left on the beat. Hijinks ensue.

I’m not sure why mockumentaries work so well so often, but it does mostly work here. From This is Spinal Tap to the Christopher Guest films (especially Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show), to both versions of “The Office” and of course, Borat, having a cast of characters pretend to be sincere in real-life situations provides more laughs then many (most?) straight-up comedies.

Reality television contributes to this phenomenon, providing us with an endless array of people who take themselves too seriously (see “Bridezilla”). As a collective and captive audience, Americans need a bit of ironic commentary to cleanse our pallets. For me, Reno 911!: Miami, runs out of steam toward the end – the characters are great, but the plot never really engages or provides any tension. Kerri Kenney, Cedric Yarbrough, Mary Birdsong, Carlos Alazraqui, Ben Garant, Wendi McLendon-Covey and my favorites, Thomas Lennon and Niecy Nash, all reprise their roles from the television show. Grade: B-

Reno 911!: Miami is currently available.