By Kaylee Brewster
While not everything in “Tag” works, the film’s promise of fun and games certainly delivers.
Hoagie (Ed Helms), Bob (John Hamm), Chilli (Jake Johnson), Sable (Hannibal Buress) and Jerry (Jeremy Renner) have been playing the same game of tag for 30 years.
Jerry has never been “It” and his wedding is coming up. Seeing their chance to finally get their friend, Hoagie, Bob, Chilli and Sable pull out all the stops in the spirit of the game and take it to new hilarious heights.
While it sounds ridiculous, the premise of the film actually works as it follows the friends through v“ious surprises, disguises and plots to get Jerry.
However, the film tends toward exaggeration, which doesn’t always work out. There are a few running jokes that don’t land well but nonetheless continue on.
While most of the leading male characters are developed well-enough, some fall into tropes like attractive business man or deadbeat pot-head. Other characters need some help. Hoagie’s wife, Anna (Isla Fisher), is along for the ride, as is Rebecca (Annabelle Wallis), a Wall Street Journal reporter writing about their tag game. These characters only pop in when it’s convenient for exposition or a laugh; half the time you forget they’re there.
Despite the film’s less-developed elements, “Tag” has plenty to play with. At times it feels like an action or spy flick, as characters engage in various means to tag each other. It’s filled with voice-overs from the actors, filmed in slow-motion as they reach out for the tag, explaining their planned moves. These scenes really stand out as the film drops all pretenses and embraces absurdity.
“Tag” is also strong while juggling the theme of friendship. The film never loses sight of the fact that the whole reason these grown men play a child’s game is to be together, despite their long distance relationships. While they are competitive, they care about each other more and will put the game aside to be good friends.
“Tag” isn’t perfect but it has enough going for it to make it an entertaining film. It’s good old-fashioned fun that will remind you of your childhood days and friends.