‘Tag’ Review

tagTag is a comedy film directed by Jeff Tomsic in his directorial debut and written by Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen. The film stars Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Annabelle Wallis, Leslie Bibb, and Rashida Jones. Based on a story that was published in The Wall Street Journal, Tag follows a group of five tight-knit friends who have been playing the same game of tag during the month of May for the past thirty years as a means of staying in touch. However, Jerry, the only member who’s never been tagged, plans on quitting with a perfect record after his upcoming wedding. Not wanting this, the other four friends band together to tag Jerry before the end of May. Tag is a fun film to watch and Jeff Tomsic does a great job at making this possible. Watching the adult group of friends revert to childlike antics when they realize they are about to be tagged is hilarious. Tomsic also does a good job at making the characters and the story relatable as we all know how it feels to be drawn away from your friends as you get older and life moves on. It also really hammers home the messages that “you don’t stop playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing” and friendships survive when you make the effort to keep in touch. Ed Helms turns in a good performance as Hogan “Hoagie” Malloy. He’s the main friend who assembles the crew to tag Jerry before he quits. He and his eccentric wife Anna, played wonderfully by Isla Fisher, seem to take the game more seriously than the others as they realize sooner or later everyone won’t be around to play. Jon Hamm is also funny as Bob Callahan. He seems more straight-laced than the others, due to his position as a CEO, but quickly reverts to his youthful antics when around his friends. Jake Johnson is laid back and relaxed as Randy “Chilli” Cilliano. Chilli is the resident stoner of the group and hasn’t had the best life in terms of relationships. He is shown to enjoy the time with his friends and ends up reigniting an old rivalry with Bob. Hannibal Buress is fine as Kevin Sable. Sable is shown to be going through some personal issues of his own at the beginning of the film, but they are quickly dismissed to join in on the game of tag. He has a deadpan face most of the time and his jokes are subtle. He cares more about spending time with his friends than playing tag. Jeremy Renner is the standout as the charismatic Jerry. He is the most in shape member of the group and would do anything to not be tagged. He’s described as legendary by his friends even to the point where they truly can’t explain how he got out of some situations. Renner gives everything to the role so it’s not surprising that he broke both of his arms while filming his stunts. Annabelle Wallis, Leslie Bibb, and Rashida Jones round out the cast in very interesting background roles. While each is given minimal screentime they have enough time in the spotlight to make them integral to the plot. While the story is fun and the characters are relatable some of the jokes do not land and some plot points are left unresolved. I give Tag a Decent 8.5/10. It’s a fun heartwarming film that will make you want to start your own never-ending game of tag with your friends.

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