Film Review: Tag

09:32 June 18, 2018
By: David Vicari

Tag is an amiable comedy about a group of 40-something male friends who still play the schoolyard game of tag. They actually go to great lengths to tag one another. For instance, the film opens with Hogan 'Hoagie' Malloy (Ed Helms) getting a janitorial job at the company where his friend, Bob Callahan (Jon Hamm), is the CEO just so he can tag Callahan. 

The plot is that the one friend who has never been tagged, Jerry Pierce (Jeremy Renner), is about to get married, yet the bride-to-be (Leslie Bibb) has a strict No Tagging during the ceremony. Malloy, Callahan and their other friends Randy 'Chilli' Cilliano (Jake Johnson) and Kevin Sable (Hannibal Buress) have to figure out when they can attempt to tag Pierce around pre-wedding events.

Tag is very loosely based on a true story, which is chronicled in the Wall Street Journal article entitled "It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being It" by Russell Adams. In the film, Annabelle Wallis plays a journalist who follows the gang to the wedding so she can get the scoop on this absurd story. Unfortunately, Wallis has little to do other than being a screenwriting device.

Buress has the smallest role of the group, but his quips are often the funniest. He should have had more screen time. Isla Fisher, however, scores a lot of laughs as Hoagie's intense wife, Anna.

The weakest part of Tag are the tagging scenes themselves. Every time a character lunges at Pierce to tag him the filmmakers employ slow-motion and digital trickery in the vein of The Matrix. That's overkill. 

The best parts of the movie are when the guys are trying to figure out a plan to tag their friend. In the end, Tag has a nice little message about staying young at heart. 

** ½ out of four

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