Zach’s Zany Movie Reviews: TAG (no spoilers)

TAG is just plain fun at the movies. Just like Blockers a couple of months ago, tt isn’t going to change the face of comedies of Hollywood, it isn’t going to win any awards, and it probably won’t spawn a sequel, but man is this film a lot of fun. And the weird thing is that critics haven’t been kind to this film. I don’t get it, were they just in a bad mood while watching it? Anyway, it is loosely based on a true story of friends that have been playing the same game of Tag for 30 years (they only play it every May each year). It is revealed that the best player of the game, the one who has never been tagged, is getting married in May, and then wants to retire from him perfect game, so the other players feel like they will finally be able to get him at his most vulnerable. There are rules, there are amendments to those rules, and there are no girls allowed. The movie has an excellent cast: you’ve got Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Jon Hamm, Hannibal Burgess, Isla Fisher, Annabelle Wallis, Thomas Middletich, Leslie Bibb, Rashida Jones, and doing his first comedy since his film debut in National Lampoon’s Senior Trip, Hawkeye himself, Jeremy Renner. You can tell the cast had a lot of fun making this.

This movie is very good-natured, with just the right amount of crude humor thrown in. It isn’t just simply a dick and fart joke movie with the tag storyline tacked on. It’s about relationships, togetherness, fun, and life, with an occasional dick and fart joke thrown in. The best parts are the inner monologues of the players as they try and finally tag Renner, who plays that character that has never been tagged. Renner’s inner dialogue is the best, in how he finds out when one of his friends is tailing him and about to tag him and what he needs to do to avoid it. All of the main players get pretty equal screen time and each has their moments to shine. Isla Fisher has her juiciest role since Wedding Crashers, playing the wife of Ed Helms, who is so competitive that she tries to help with the game even though she can’t tag or be tagged herself. And I love the fact that while Annabelle Wallis plays a Wall Street Journal reporter that is at first trying to interview Jon Hamm about his company but finds that this game of Tag is the more interesting story, doesn’t get a tacked on cliched love story. She is strictly there for the ride, and I appreciate the screenwriters feeling that she didn’t need more. If there was one complaint its that while Hannibal Burgess gets plenty of screentime, he doesn’t really get a full arc. It is hinted at what his arc could’ve been at first, but then it is quickly ignored and while he is in the movie and has plenty of comedic moments, they are just moments, and don’t really add to his characterization.

There isn’t much to say about this film other than go see it and enjoy the surprises the film gives you. I couldn’t go into the acting of everyone, but I feel that everyone was playing a fun version of themselves. While one aspect of the games ending I did find predictable and guessed it would happen before seeing the movie, there are certain aspects of the ending that I didn’t expect and it tugged on my heart strings a little bit. The film does go a little dark in two places (you’ll know where they are) but they are just toeing that line of going into full on dreary, the movie knew how to play those moments and it doesn’t come off as distasteful or over the top. Tag is fun, so take a couple of friend or family members and go. If it wasn’t for a couple of dick and fart jokes and several use of the F word, it would’ve made a decent PG-13 comedy too (which you don’t get much of nowadays). Or if you can’t see it in the theater, watch it with those close to you when it hits streaming or disc. I recommend it fully and is one of the nice surprises of the summer.

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