Tag, directed by Jeff Tomsic, is the story of a small group of classmates who organize an annual game of tag that often goes to extraordinary lengths. In a particular tag season, four of the five friends (played by John Hamm, Aaron Johnson, Ed Helms and Kevin Sable) team up to tag their other new engaged friend (played by Jeremy Renner), who happens to never be tagged in the history of their competition.
Believe or not, but Tag is based on a true story. This film was born through a 2013 Wall Street Journal article documenting the adventures of the ‘Tag Brothers’ – ten childhood friends who have played tag with one another in the month of February for the past 28 years! This story makes for a very unique premise, and the film definitely capitalizes on this to market itself to audiences.
Tag, is without a question, a movie that belongs in the comedy genre. As such, its performance and watchability has to be judged on how funny this movie actually is. In my view, the humor in this film was either hit or miss. There were a few jokes that landed, while the others missed the mark by being being poorly delivered. I think this was because none of the actors who delivered these lines were from a comedic background (except for maybe Ed Helms). In addition, none of the characters had any interesting traits about them or story arks that were carried through the film – their personalities were nothing more than cheesy stereotypes. Kevin Sable in particular was a let-down because his character felt like every other Kevin Sable character; drab and emotionless.
There were also some other characters that either felt underdeveloped or unnecessary to the plot of this movie. Annabelle Wallis plays a journalist who follows the lads in their tag game – the film had absolutely nothing else to say about her. Isla Fisher also makes an appearance as the wife to Ed Helms’ character. Her only trait was that she was competitive, to the point that she became a physical danger to others. Her presence made absolutely no difference to the quality of this film.
On a more positive note, Tag did have some clever camerawork and editing. I particularly enjoyed the use of slow-mo, and the voiceovers of Jeremy Renner’s character to describe his intricate method of thinking that helped him avoid being tagged. Aside from this, I really have nothing else positive to say about this movie. To me, Tag is nothing more than a mediocre adaptation of a fun childhood game.