It’s hard-to-believe but the new comedy about a group of middle-aged men playing the same game of tag since they were children is based on a true story. The premise behind the film is a funny one and when you have a cast that includes Jake Johnson, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms and Hannibal Buress playing those friends, it’s hard not to have high expectations. Unfortunately, the-end-result is only mildly amusing and excessively stupid.
When Hoagie (Helms), Callahan (Hamm), Randy (Johnson) and Sable (Buress) learn that their friend Jerry (Renner) is getting married, they decide to head to the wedding and finally tag the man who has never been tagged. After a failed first attempt, some ground rules are set by the bride-to-be, Susan (Leslie Bibb). There can be no tagging during any of the pre-wedding functions or the wedding ceremony. This of course limits the options and makes the game even more challenging.
Things get more complicated when Jerry invites Cheryl (Rashida Jones) to the wedding in-order-to distract Callahan and Randy who both have a thing for her. Along for the ride is New York Times reporter Rebecca (Annabelle Wallis) who accidently learned about 20+ years long game of tag and feels it would make an amazing story. Also joining is Hoagie’s equally competitive wife Anna (Isla Fisher) who very much wants to be part of the game but isn’t because the rules say no girls.
The biggest issue with “Tag” is that it is so ridiculous and not nearly as funny as it should be. Most of the actual tag sequences play out too long, especially the one involving golf carts and a chase through the woods. The other issue is that Jerry’s character feels more like he should be in a spy movie and that takes away from the story’s believability. It’s based on a true story but never feels true. None of these characters ever feel remotely real. There are a few laughs here and there but those come more from clever lines of dialogue rather than any of the physical comedy. “Tag” is a waste of the talent involved. It’s not terrible, but I wouldn’t recommend you tag along with your friends to see it.
By: Marc Ferman