Making friends as an adult can be hard enough, but what about keeping those friends? It's not to say we drift all the time (even though this does happen), but when our own lives become filled with normal responsibilities like work, family, and significant others, how do we maintain that connection. Many would argue that social media has been able to fill that void. While it does give us a way to connect, it still doesn't replace the day-to-day meet and greet. I personally try to organize a way to meet up at least once a month whether it's a movie, a game night, or whatever.
What I love about today's movie is that it understands that a lot of friends would do stupid stuff just for the sake of doing it…as long as it doesn't go too far. Probably one of my favorite memories from middle school in which my buds and I spent three years creating our own theme park on the computer game Roller Coaster Tycoon. There was no reason for it, but we had fun passing it around to see if we could make the greatest…or at least craziest theme park. You could do that…or you could play tag like a group of friends does in Tag.
Right off the mat were introduced to several men. We have a doctor Hogan (played by Ed Helms), a business tycoon Bob (played by Jon Hamm), a stoner Randy (played by Jake Johnson), and a anxious hypochondriac Kevin (played by Hannibal Buress). Even since they were kids, they would spend the month of May playing the simple game of tag. On their thirtieth year of playing, a Wall Street Journal journalist Rebecca (played by Annabelle Wallis) is following them to write about it.
The guys vow to make it the year they finally tag their one friend who has never been touched, Jerry (played by Jeremy Renner). Jerry happens to be getting married that month and see this as the chance to get him when he's vulnerable. They guys make a pack that wedding parties and the ceremony are off limits, but otherwise state that anything else goes. Much of the time is spent seeing who can tag who, trying harder to get Jerry and just having fun.
Honestly, I can say that Tagis the kind of shenanigans comedy that I really like. Where Action Parkdidn't establish enough genuine fun, this is the kind of dangerous stuff that I probably would have done if my friends were to do this. This works for a lot of reasons, but let's start off with the most important, the chemistry. All five of these stars, including Jeremy Renner, all feel like friends that have known each other for a while. They make a lot of banter and taunting, the kind that a lot of guys would have. But there does seem to be a lot of underlying heart. The fact that they get so intense with their team of tag, that abandoning it would be like a death in the family.
Something like Tagcould have bombed had they not just shot five guys touching each other for an hour and a half. Instead, Taglooks like it was partially shot as an action movie. Just replace the guns and fighting with…tag. With Jeremy Renner, you know your going to get the kind of stunt work that only makes the situation funnier and why he would be so hard to touch. Comedies need to exaggerate and this knows how to do so in the right places.
While Tagdoes work for a while, I do unfortunately have to talk about the film's last act. Without spoiling anything, a character reveals themselves as dying, hence why he wanted to make this game of tag intense. While I appreciate trying to add more heart, it made the overall goal too easy, as standing up for a dying person is obvious. Wouldn't have made it more profound if it was all another trick, adding to the unpredictability of the group? I don't know if the real life subjects were faced with a similar dilemma, but if they did, I do feel for them.
I'll give this four tag hands out of five. This made for a fun watch and a great reminder that the simplest and stupidest moments of friendship are the most cherished. So tag your friends and go see this,