Starring Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Rashida Jones, Annabelle Wallis, Leslie Bibb,
Apparently, you can make a movie about anything. “Tag” is the head scratching true story about childhood friends who played the “tag you’re it game” well into their 50’s. This movie negates the long-held fantasy that stories based on something true will be more dependable than fiction. It’s from the writer of similarly bland gimmick comedies “Stuck on You” and “Hall Pass”. “Tag” delivers predictable and corny laughs while barely coming up with enough filler (heavily relying on flashback) to connect the characters with more than their ridiculous obsession with tagging each other.
In the mid 1980’s, four friends Hoagie, Randy, Callahan, and Sable spent much of their childhood desperately trying to tag their elusive buddy Jerry. This game continued through high school, college and into their adult lives, even spending entire vacations for the sole purpose of the game. They have specific rules, the tagging can only occur during the month of May and whoever the last to be tagged on the last day of the month, must spend the entire year as a loser. No girls allowed to play, which is a bummer for Hoagie’s competitive wife Anna (Fisher). Hoagie (Helms) gathers the gang back together in their hometown where Jerry is getting married. Having made it his mission in life to finally tag the un-taggable member of their group, Hoagie will stop at nothing to finally lay hands on Jerry and yell those satisfying words, “tag you’re it”.
“Tag” is without any cinematic merit, life lessons or inspired performances.
“Tag” comes on the heels of another adult competition film “Game Night” which was far more unrealistic and over the top than the events here. This is a mainstream comedy with little imagination that checks off expected ingredients. The humor is significantly lacking and predictably stale. The one creative thread in the film is Jerry’s narration when his friends attempt to tag him. It’s done in with obnoxious slow motion as he anticipates their every move based on character flaws. It’s baffling that the script writers changed the makeup of real life characters to allow for racial diversity but didn’t go as far to include women as part of their game. Funny ladies Fisher (Nocturnal Animals) and Bibb (Take Care) are sidelined in limited “wife” roles, getting very little to do throughout the film.
No surprise that Warner Bros. tapped first time director Jeff Tomsic to helm a project that’s spoon-feeding mainstream audience’s disposable comedy. “Tag” is without any cinematic merit, life lessons or inspired performances. Ed Helms (“Love the Coopers”) is the modern-day Adam Sandler, proving one of the most unpleasant comedians to watch in mainstream movies. After the preposterous behavior and scenarios play out, “Tag” attempts to lean on emotion in the third act to give purpose to and reason behind all this stupidity. This forgettable summer comedy is exactly what it looks like in the trailer and will be about as memorable as the popcorn bucket you discard in the trash bin on your way out.
The fact “Tag” is “inspired by a true story” invalidates that once respected phrase from here on out.