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For audiences seeking a dose of high-concept yet undemanding action comedy, Tag might be close enough to it.
For audiences seeking a dose of high-concept yet undemanding action comedy, Tag might be close enough to it.
All Critics (181)
| Top Critics (34)
| Fresh (102)
| Rotten (79)
| DVD (2)
It really works out, it's a lot of fun, and stay through the credits.
Director Jeff Tomsic takes a broadly comic approach to the material that doesn't always serve it well, but the real-life story is captivating.
It's fun, it's light, [but] it has a hard time when its tries to get heavy.
Based on a true story about fortysomething manchildren still playing tag, this bro-bonding comedy is all over the place, but fueled by a terrific cast and a partytime atmosphere that might be just what you're looking for on a hot summer night.
The cast is talented and game. But the game itself is grotesque, largely because of the characters they're forced to play.
Another symptom of a long cinematic Hangover, complete with Ed Helms in the lead.
After almost two hours, the repetitive Tag overstays its welcome. Despite some funny moments, it also underuses a great cast and has poor character development.
Such a great cast, but this definitely isn't "It."
An enjoyable ode to lifelong relationships, and a comedy that instills the value of true friendship and reminds us that we're never too old to play.
In a year of poor comedies, Tag will surely be up there as one of the better offerings by the end of the year, but probably more by luck rather than anything else.
I only wish the movie had better utilized the talented women and better realized the serious moments. Nonetheless, because I can't resist this pun, TAG is certainly a game I'd recommend joining.
A mainstream comedy that tries to be different, Tag reminded me of "Game Night" and "The House" in its determination to go to the edge of the cliff, peer over, then jump right into the abyss. Funny and fast, though sometimes repetitive, it works (just!).
A real life 30 year game of tag "you're it!" is the basis of this light summer comedy, that stars a pretty decent cast. You won't remember much of it afterwards, but you won't feel as if you've been gypped with half-assed, phoned-in performances miming a half-assed, phoned in script either. And it might well be rewatchable to boot. Okay stuff.
ag is based on the true story of a group of grown men who continue to play a highly competitive game of tag for 30 years. There are even real clips of the real men before the end credits, raising the hope for a potential documentary on the subject. The Hollywood version is a sprightly ensemble comedy that's not afraid to go silly or dark in its pursuit of laughs. Given the nature of its premise, there is a lot of slapstick to behold, but it was cleverly staged, routinely netting some big laughs from me. This is a definitely adults-only R-rated venture and the movie proudly wears this identity on its sleeve, finding strange and exciting comic detours that can walk a fine tonal line, like an ongoing bit about miscarriages that had me wincing as much as I was laughing. The main characters are all relatively familiar types; Ed Helms is the high-strung dweeb, Jake Johnson is a sarcastic stoner, Jon Hamm is a smarmy exec, Hannibal Buress is as laconic as his standup persona. There are a string of supporting characters (often female) that add very little, including a rekindled love triangle with Rashida Jones, a journalist who tags along on the game and adds nothing, and Isla Fisher as the grating, always-yelling, intense wife to Helms. Surprisingly, the funniest member of the movie is Jeremy Renner, an actor who heretofore had never shown much comic ability in movies. He's a formidable opponent, and every time he went into his Sherlock Holmes-styled voice over detailing the steps and mistakes of his friends, I loved it. Also, strangely, Renner's arms are actually CGI arms since he broke them days into filming. You would never be able to tell. I appreciated that Tag is directed as a comedy even during its action set pieces. It looks at action through the lens of comedy and taps into the absurdity. Overall, Tag is a fun, rambunctious comedy with some dark impulses yet it still finds room for sentiment that doesn't feel entirely out of place. 2018 is shaping up to be the year of the hearty, enjoyable R-rated comedy with Tag joining the ranks of Blockers and Game Night. Catch it while you can if the prospect of men behaving like overgrown children appeals.
Nate's Grade: B
NOT IT - My Review of TAG (2 1/2 Stars)
While perfectly amiable, energetically made and sometimes quite funny, TAG, the feature debut by TV veteran Jeff Tomsic and written by Mark Steilen and Rob McKittrick, based on a Wall Street Journal article, only feels slightly more substantive than the game upon which it's based. You can almost hear the successful pitch made for it, "You're never gonna believe this, but there's this group of lifelong friends who drop everything one month a year to play a game of tag. You can't make this stuff up!"
Sounds fun enough, but I couldn't help but asking myself throughout, "Yes, but is it a movie?" The answer? I guess, if you like your stakes really low and hyper-repetitive, then sure.
Since childhood, five friends, played by Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, and Jeremy Renner, have dedicated the month of May to play this game, with Renner's character skilled and slippery enough to never have been declared "It'. As adults at a crossroads in their various lives, the men reunite, perhaps for one last time, before apathy, aching bones and other grownup concerns take over. One could make the argument that the film serves as a thinly-veiled allegory of the demise of the alpha male, except it has no veils. THAT'S WHAT IT'S ABOUT!
One could easily call this a Bro Show, except the filmmakers are smart enough to feature the various women in the mens' lives, played by Leslie Bibb, Annabelle Wallis, Rashida Jones, and most winningly by Isla Fisher, who participate in the juvenile shenanigans. The point being - again low stakes here - that women can be just a bro-ey as men. The film also does a good job of mining the dynamics of male friendships, including the oddly believable fact that Renner's character being so good at the game that they never really got to know him as a person. But there's only so far one can take this on its simple premise.
I enjoyed the performances, with Hamm getting to stretch his comedic muscles more than before, Johnson doing the most with his one-note stoner character, and Buress working wonders with his dry delivery. Nobody is terrible, but I would recommend BLOCKERS if you're in the mood for adults suffering from arrested development...or how about ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT? Yeah - that's a good show.
After a while, the whole affair feels like a JACKASS movie, a bunch of fun action sequences strung together until the 11th hour reveal adds a little lump-in-your-throat moment to send you out of the theater thinking at least the film had a beating heart. All true. It's taut, perfectly serviceable, yet completely forgettable storytelling.
There are times when a true story lends itself to a film in an emotionally resonant way and other times when it's simply done in order to impress or deliver laughs to an audience. That being said, Tag is a rare film that sort of relies on all of those things and more, which sort of makes for a weird experience at the movies. I have been looking forward to this film for a while and hearing that it was based on a true story made me that much more intrigued by it. Personally, I enjoyed my experience watching this film, but upon reflection, I can see why many viewers may find it boring or wish for it to be a much funnier romp. Here's why I would recommend Tag if you can check your expectations at the door and not expect it to be a hilarious movie from start to finish.
Following a group of friends who have been playing the same game of tag for over thirty years, as a way of staying friends, they make it their mission to finally tag their friend Jerry, who has been the champion forever. Yes, the plot is silly and outlandish, as is the movie itself, but the fact that people are actually out there in the real world doing this, made for a much more subdued experience. At its core, this is a film about friendship and the comedic aspect of this film simply comes from whenever the writers decided to add jokes into the core premise of the movie. The emotional core is really what hooked me throughout this movie.
It seems strange to say that the dramatic aspects of a movie that follows older men playing tag are the best portions of the film, but that's truly where I found myself most impacted by it. Yes, there are some very funny lines of dialogue that I'm still replaying in my head, but they are few and far between, making way for the third act, which isn't exactly the type of conclusion I was expecting. Without giving anything away (and if you don't know the way this true story ends), this film ends on a note that actually had me slightly tearing up. This truly is a movie about friendship, first and foremost. For that reason alone, I forgave the fact that it wasn't loaded with comedy.
Now, that's precisely why I believe certain viewers will be turned off by this film. Most people will look at the trailers and think they're going to see a laugh riot, and like I said, there are jokes that work very well, but it's sort of a blend of both comedy and drama. If you're able to gravitate toward that throughout your viewing experience, then I can definitely say this is the movie for you. A good story always trumps good jokes in my opinion. A movie could have lame jokes, but if the core plot is holding it together, then it's not a complete flop in my opinion.
Tag benefits from a very dedicated cast, with standouts being Hannibal Buress and Jake Johnson. These dedicated performers made this a very believable (albeit ridiculous) movie to watch. With some clever editing choices and quite frankly some cool choices in terms of cinematography, this movie tried to be much more than it needed to be, so I absolutely have to commend it for that. This is a comedy that you shouldn't be seeing for the comedy, but you'll still be rewarded with some hilarious moments. See this film for the camaraderie of friendship and I think you'll have a good time with it, as I did. It's not a great movie by any means, but it's a solid time at the movies.
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