A Great Game Becomes A Great Film

 

Tag is exactly the movie you want it to be – an action comedy with a stellar cast about a bunch of grown dudes who have been playing a game of tag once a month for the last 30 years.

If you’ve seen the trailer, you already know the story: 5 lifelong friends began playing a game of tag when they were children and even though they are now in their mid-30s with wives, children and high-powered jobs they pop back into each other’s lives every May to continue the game. Jerry (played by Jeremy Renner) has never been tagged and to make the stakes even higher, this May he is getting married. The remaining four friends – portrayed by Jake Johnson, Ed Helms, Jon Hamm and Hannibal Buress – decide the weekend of his wedding is the perfect time to end his winning streak and finally tag him. As expected, the weekend turns into a chaotic mess of chases through wedding rehearsals, church halls and childhood homes as well as golf cart races and at least two hospital trips.

One of the most impressive and enjoyable aspects of this film is the stunts. These characters take their game of tag to the extreme and are constantly falling, jumping, soaring and crashing into various objects with little to no regard for personal wellbeing, which makes for some hilarious moments for the audience. Renner’s character Jerry is particularly impressive, with his slow-motion and skilful evasions of the other character’s tags. His skills and stunts almost make the film feel like a Hawkeye spin-off where we get a glimpse into what he’s doing when he’s not saving the world. At the complete opposite end of the action-comedy spectrum was Jake Johnson’s character Chili who, within the first few minutes of the film, has gotten high with his dad, complained about his ex-wife and then fallen two stories to the ground while trying to escape Ed Helms’ Hogan.

Tag also deserves recognition for its excellent writing and quick wit as well as unexpected physical comedy that resulted in the film being funnier than expected. Hannibal Buress’s paranoid and seemingly depressed character Sable is just weird enough to easily become a viewer favourite but was unfortunately underrated by the masses, with the cinemagoers around me missing some of his better lines. Isla Fischer, however, more than held her own among the comedic men and earned a fair few laughs as the overly aggressive and competitive Anna. Ed Helms and Jake Johnson were the two main characters that we’re much more used to seeing in comedy roles, and their reputation didn’t stop them from stealing a few scenes and leaving the cinema laughing. Even Jon Hamm’s suit-wearing, office-boss character Bob Callahan was funnier than expected and he worked well alongside the others.

If you go into Tag ready to laugh and want nothing more, then you’re going to love it. It’s a good, harmless, funny movie with minor emotional storylines and a whole lot of laughs. It features a really strong cast who help to propel the story and before you know it, it’s reached its heartwarming ending and you’re walking out of the cinema with a smile on your face.

Score: 4/5

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