Tag follows a group of friends who have been playing the game for most of their lives, strangely enough, it is also based on a true story. By and large, this film is a by the numbers comedy film, not being great, but not being bad either. Tag has quite a lot of unforeseen surprises in it, that I can guarantee you won’t see coming. Such as some well-choreographed action scenes, that give the film an over the top air, to an end twist that packs a strong emotional blow. The biggest problem this film has is that it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be, as the three previously mentioned elements do work individually, but not as a larger film. Furthermore, there are several characters and subplots that feel tacked on, to pad out the film’s runtime. An example of this would be the love triangle between, Chilli, (Jake Johnson) Callahan, (Jon Hamm) and Cheryl Deakins, (Rashida Jones). Said love triangle really goes nowhere and doesn’t add much to any of the characters involved. The same could be said for Jerry’s alcoholism, and incredibly obsessive nature when it comes to tag, these plot threads are written in but are never explored in any depth. Overall, the plot is, (with the before mentioned twist being the exception), very familiar, and lacks any kind of uniqueness. The end twist of Hoagie, (Ed Helms), having cancer is quite powerful. Yes, it has been done before, but I feel it is used here to add some much-needed perspective to each of the characters, showing them how Tag isn’t as important as they think it is. The humour for me fell flat. That said, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress and Isla Fisher, have the best lines with the latter by far being the funniest character. Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner, (Jerry), felt strangely miscast as they didn’t act as though they were in a comedy film instead taking it all a little too seriously; with that being especially true in Renner’s case. To add to a previous point, this film feels like it has an identity crisis, as there are times when it’s a zany over the top comedy, and then there are moments where it tries to have character drama, and I don’t believe the two are balanced well. Something else I want to draw attention to is Ed Helm’s performance. As far as leading characters go Helms’ Hoagie is one of the least memorable of recent memory, the other characters, (yes even Hamm and Renner), have something that makes them memorable, but not Helms; he is just playing the same character you’ve seen in 50 other Ed Helms’ films. To conclude there are good elements about this film, the end twist is well used and striking, and the action scene choreography is oddly well done, but overall Tag is a film that seems to be not quite sure what it is, with it trying to put in as many different elements as it can; and as a result, it loses focus.
Reviewed by Luke.