TAG is inspired by a real story that has stretched nearly thirty years. It’s a story about friendship, one really long game of tag, and the people who would pursue each other, no matter what.
You are either going to watch TAG and see “a world where grown men take the whole month of May to play a child’s game,” or you believe “we don’t stop playing because we get old; we get old because we stop playing.” Your perspective on the idea will probably determine how much you enjoy the film, which is WILDLY, OUTRAGEOUSLY FUN.
As the film opens, Hoagie Malloy (Ed Helms) infiltrates his buddy Bob Callahan’s (Jon Hamm) company, while Callahan is being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, to tag him and tell him that they have one last chance to tag Jerry Price (Jeremy Renner) before he leaves their thirty-year game for good. They recruit Chili Ciliano (Jake Johnson) to help them track Price down at his wedding, with Malloy’s overly-excited wife Anna (Isla Fisher), their fourth friend, Kevin Sable (Hannibal Burress), and Wall Street reporter Rebecca Crosby (Annabelle Wallis) in tow.
There have been other films with ideas that made more sense that aren’t nearly as funny. Game Night was funny, but TAG is hilarious, popping from one silly moment to another. A chair thrown in defense bounces off a window and hammers the thrower; the bar tender in the childhood hometown of the foursome wants desperately to be in the game; marijuana slows minds, attracts, and filters the camera. The film provides laughs through dialogue and situationally, doling them out generously and liberally.
But there’s a sweetness here that ties all of the chords together, binding the four men and their ancillaries together. Ultimately, this is an ode to friendship, and the way we fight to determine who we are as our lives change through marriage, professions, and otherwise. Somehow, watching this crazy film, it strikes me that the game of tag has become a holy moment – a reminder that we’re supposed to play, to love, to laugh, and to engage in relationships that last well past their shelf lives.
Blu-ray special features include deleted scenes and a gag reel, but the real bonus is “Meet the Real Tag Brothers,” a look at the guys who inspired the film as they visit the set.