BY KAREN SUROS
“Tag” is advertised as an R-rated comedy based on a true story that follows a group of friends that have been playing the same game of tag for 30 years. Every year in the month of May, five men (Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Ed Helms and Hannibal Buress) go to outrageous lengths to tag each other.
In their version of the game, whoever has the misfortune of being “it” at the end of May must wait until the next year to redeem themselves. One player, Jerry Pierce (portrayed by Jeremy Renner) has never been “it,” something his friends plan on changing during the time frame of the movie. It also happens that this is the year Jerry will be getting married- on May 31.
“Tag” seems to have something for everyone. A little bit of action, a little bit of romance and a lot of comedy – something that everyone can enjoy. Some scenes appear to be straight out of an action film. This is an interesting choice, albeit a little confusing. While “Tag” can keep watchers occupied for the hour and 45 minutes it takes up, it has its boring moments where not much is going on.
That’s not to say the movie wasn’t enjoyable. It’s definitely, for the most part, a fun watch. There’s no shortage of raunchy comedy, ridiculous stunts or heartwarming displays of friendship, which practically everyone can appreciate.
The cast itself is enough to crowd. Some familiar faces outside of the main characters include Isla Fisher, Annabelle Wallis and Rashida Jones. Some characters really stand out, like Anna, played by Isla Fisher, wife to Ed Helms’s Hoagie. Her dedication to the game, which she isn’t even allowed to participate in, is fierce, to say the least.
“Tag” seems to have something for everyone. A little bit of action, a little bit of romance and a lot of comedy – something that everyone can enjoy.
Unfortunately, other characters leave something to be desired. Others feel pointless altogether as if they were thrown in to kill time and create empty conflict. Overall, the cast does a good job of portraying the characters and telling the story.
The best part about “Tag” may very well be the true story behind it. It all began with 10 friends from Spokane, Washington. In an unconventional effort to keep in touch after high school, someone suggested they continue their game of tag every February (differing from the movie) for the rest of their lives (or at least as long as they were physically able to continue). Henceforth a contract was drawn up, the game went on, a Wall Street Journal article was published, lots of attention was gathered and the idea for a movie loosely based on this game was thought up.
That being said, whether or not viewers enjoy the movie, they’ll be glad to stick around to the credits. Videos and pictures of the real-life friend group the movie is based on are enough to make the whole ordeal worth it.
Unfortunately, other characters leave something to be desired.
If it wasn’t obvious from the film’s background that one of its major themes would be friendship, watching the movie will make it perfectly clear.
Additionally, it addresses the importance of indulging in simple pleasures, like games, well into adult life. It even opens with a quote by George Bernard Shaw: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”
As the storyline progresses, it becomes less about continuing the game to stay youthful and more about continuing it to stay friends. It is a sweet story about childhood friendships overcoming all the obstacles that come with growing up.
Altogether, “Tag” is easy to watch and essentially a funny, heartwarming story about childhood friends who manage to stick together. There’s the occasional dull or out-of-place moment, but plenty of comedic, entertaining scenes in between.
- Intriguing background story
- Sweet message
- Funny mischief
- Dull moments
- Disappointing acting
Photo courtesy of CineFiles Movie Reviews