Actor Jon Hamm (aka Mad Men and The Town), Ed Helm (aka The Office and The Hangover) and Jeremy Renner (aka The Hurt Locker and Wind River) along with Isla Fisher (aka The Wedding Crashers and The Lookout) combine their electric talents to tell the true story of how five close friends from high school who started a juvenile game called “Tag” that created a strong lasting bonding between them that they mutually decided to keep carry on their childish antics into their adulthood some 20 + years later.
If you don’t know the game “Tag” it is essentially a playground game that involves several players chasing other players in an attempt to "tag" or touch them, usually with their hands. There are many variations; most forms have no teams, scores, or equipment. Usually when a person is tagged, the tagger says, "Tag, you're it" and then repeated again to the next person who is aligned to be touched next.
In this film adaptation we see the actor characters as all highly successful business people who have decided to continue their seemingly harmless game but only for 30 days in the month of May each year. But because of the highly competitive nature of theses supposedly mature friends they not only hit the ground running hard each year, it a full out no-holds-barred game literally risking their health, their jobs and their personal relationships to take one another down no matter where they live in the country.
In this particular month of May we see the players pursing one another during a specific time that just so happens to coincide with one of the players wedding named Jerry (Renner) leading up to and during his big event. Jerry also happens to be the only undefeated player who has never ever been touched in all the many years of playing the game. So in the minds of the others he is target number one with an all-out war approach and tactics to finally getting him “tagged” once and for all.
REVIEW: It’s not so much that “Tag” is a bad film, rather its just not anything I believe you will find memorably funny or hilarious on the comedic meter, though its listed specifically as being a comedy in its description. It has a single one note premise which is milked throughout the films’ entire execution time of 1:40 minutes. And while it has a few scant moments of it being slightly amusing and imaginative it mostly devolves into something where you watch people behaving totally and utterly insane……………..just to touch someone.
“Tag” is about boys never stop being boys and while I admire how their game did in fact nurtured a sense of lasting love and bonding affection for one another, in terms of the movie itself it also showed how mean spirited and viscous they acted and stooped (in friendship supposedly) to either touch or not be touched.
As far as the technical aspects of the film I was especially disappointed by both the infusion of slow motion back flip somersaults and Ninja acrobatics that I know damn well never happened with these men in their real-life stories. I also was a bit confused by the many previous movies references infused into the story, including Predator and actor Shane Black getting hit by a swinging log and the Predator itself being briefly snared in a net trap. There was also references to human torture aka waterboarding from Zero Dark Thirty and the film Alien (kind of, sort a) which involved a cast member using a miscarriage just to escape from being touched. And don’t get me started on how many Jackie Chan and Rambo movie references there were in this film. Bottom line none of this made me believe anyone would be so insane as to do any of these stunts just to play this silly little game.
“Tag” has a mix bag amusing – clumsy – tasteless - corny – cute feel to it. But ultimately, it’s a film that never reached its full potential that I thought it seem to offer from the early trailers I saw. It was a creative idea that was creatively spoiled and messy by being all over the place with no real singular connection from one scene to the next other than the principles repeatedly trying to tag someone slightly differently than they just did a few minutes ago.
In the end “Tag” while a heartwarming effort overall is nothing more than a cliched and unoriginal executed film that will keep you going in circles over and over and over and over and over again…………………until “you get it” it’s not really worth recommending to anyone to see in the theater.