Aida Vucic | 14/06/2018
Tag, also referred to as chasey, it, tiggy and various other adaptations, is a game synonymous with our childhood; where we were free to roam around the parks evading getting caught or in pursuit of the next target. Flash forward to today, and it’s rarely a sport we participate in now, reserved only for those times when we’ve been duped into playing with our children or younger siblings. But what about if the game never stops? What if there were a group of adults still playing the same game of tag they had been during their childhood? Well there is such a group in real life (as evidenced by a relatively recent article from New York), and it sparked so much interest that it is now also the basis for the film Tag.
So, the game may have been slightly modified to enable them to live their lives, but come the month of May, the team including Hoagie (Ed Helm), Callahan (Jon Hamm), Randy (Jake Johnson), Sable (Hannibal Buress) and Jerry (Jeremy Renner) reunite to declare all-out war on one another. This year is no exception, aside from one key point; Jerry is “retiring” from the game, and having never been caught before, it’s the rest of the group’s last opportunity at glory! Conveniently, Jerry is getting married, and what better way of tagging the most untaggable person than at their wedding, whilst they’re a sitting duck? Thus ensues a series of attempts to tag Jerry, while also trying to manage the ins and outs of returning to their own hometown and participating in all of the regular wedding activities.
Joined along for the adventure are Hoagie’s wife, played by Isle Fresher, a reporter named Rebecca (Annabelle Wallis), an old flame, Cheryl (Rashida Jones), and Jerry’s soon to be wife Susan (Lesli Bibb). It’s an incredibly fun movie, making a mockery of many of the action films which feature their protagonist in slow motion deflecting bullets and knives. Blended with comedic relief from the ensemble, with most jokes landing, the film for the most part keeps you interested, apart from the middle portion of the film, which feels somewhat tired and loses much of the momentum initially gained in the initial half.
On top of this, the Wall Street Journal references seems to have been thrown in with little regard. Whilst the real-life group of friends were feature in the newspaper, Wallis, as well as the film, would have been better served had she been better utilised. Whilst the scenes of her cross interviewing the members were great, her presence seemed largely unjustified and bizarre; merely an attempt by director Jeff Tomsic to tie the story to real-life, although the montage at the end would have sufficed.
Despite this, whenever Renner shows up on screen and the actual Tag happens, the film finds its stride, and it becomes a truly enjoyable piece. The final tagging montage is also a picture perfect ending to the relatively uneven, but generally enjoyable film.
Don’t be surprised to find yourself caught in the chase. Sure, the stories mediocre at best, but we all need a little joy in our lives equivalent to that which we felt escaping the clutches of the person who was it.