directed by Dave Boyle
by Walter Chaw Dave Boyle's Man from Reno is agreeably mediocre. It doesn't do anything particularly badly, doesn't do anything particularly wonderfully, overstays its welcome a little, and appears to not know whether to be a Father Dowling mystery or a Patricia Highsmith novel before settling on being a bit of both. It starts with the permanent vacation of popular/reclusive Japanese mystery author Aki (Ayako Fujitani), who travels to visit friends in San Francisco, where she finds herself involved with a handsome stranger (Kazuki Kitamura) and shady dealings. Meanwhile, grizzled small-town sheriff Paul Del Moral (Pepe Serna) investigates an abandoned car and a hit-and-run, only to cross paths with plucky Aki. An unlikely buddy comedy? You bet, though one that only flowers for a moment when Aki interrogates a woman as erstwhile interpreter but actual prime-investigator while poor Sheriff Del Moral stands by, asking questions never properly translated. It's charming. All of Man of Reno is charming. So terribly, terribly charming.