Moderator / Reviewer
- Apr 4, 2017
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The term “based on a true story” means little in Hollywood. Usually when a film has that moniker attached to it the names and generic IDEAS of the movie are similar to the true story, but 99.999% of the material is all Hollywood fluff used to generate a movie idea. It should be pretty obvious, but Tag is one of those movies. The original story was a newspaper article about a group of friends who played a surprise game of tag every year till they were old men. Warner Brothers has grabbed the concept of friendly camaraderie and amped it up to level 11 and just RUN with the concept. While I won’t say that Tag is a comedy classic, or that it sticks 100% to the true story facts, but it is a highly entertaining film that actually surprised me with how sweet and heart warming it could be, all the while wrapping itself up in the insanity and craziness of an R-rated comedy flick.
The film revolves around 5 childhood friends. Hogan “Hoagy”, Malloy (Ed Helms), Bob Callahan (Jon Hamm), Randy “Chili” Cilliano (Jake Johnson), Kevin Sable (Hannibal Burless) and Jerry Pierce (Jeremy Renner), who have been playing the same game of tag for 30 years (since they were 9 years old). Every May it’s “game on”, with the 5 friends conniving, backstabbing, and generally throwing each other under the bus to play a month long game of tag, just for the sheer joy of it. After 30 years, Jerry has never ONCE been tagged, leaving the other four in the group with the insatiable desire to make their elusive friend “it” for once. After Hoagy announces that Jerry is finally retiring after this year, being that he’s getting married and moving, the gang decides that it’s time to team up and make it their month long mission to make sure that Jerry is finally “it” for once.
The thing is, it’s not going to be as easy as it sounds. Jerry is a veritable Hawkeye without the bow, and his physical skills make him a cagey target. To make matters worse, with his wedding happening in the same month, his beautiful bride to be Susan (Leslie Bibb) wants the wedding to be off limits, cutting their window of opportunity down to a few mere days before their time with Jerry runs out. As the team gets closer and closer to Jerry, it becomes obvious to all involved that their elusive friend is not going to be caught using normal methods. Which means its time to bring out the big guns.
While the concept itself lends itself to inane stunts (many of which are absolutely hilarious, especially Jeremy Renner’s internal Sherlock Holmes monologues), the film flows effortlessly due to a cast of characters that are just having FUN with their roles. Standouts would be Ed Helm as the frustrated Hoagy trying to tag his buddy before their last game is over, and Jon Hamm being Jon Hamm. Smooth, clean shaven, and cocky as ever. Jeremy Renner was the one weak spot in the comedic lineup (at least that’s what I thought), but he ended up being the highlight of the show, playing off his character as slightly dark, slightly goofy, and completely in control of their little game. I was honestly expecting him to drag the comedic timing down, but he worked really well as Jerry. The rest of the cast adds their own flavor to round things out (Jake Johnson is doing his normal “stoner” schtick), and Isla Fischer playing the loose cannon style character, much like how she played herself in Wedding Crashers.
Rated R for language throughout, crude sexual content, drug use and brief nudity
• Meet the Real Tag Brothers Featurette
While not a comedy classic by any means, Tag is a hilariously fun movie that was way more enjoyable than I initially expected. It’s sweet, charming, and totally insane, but the film was a blast to watch with a group of friends. The humor is spot on, and the film does what so many comedy films fail to do so often. It actually nails the landing and sends the film out on a great note. Warner Brothers has once again done a wonderful job with the transfers, giving us a great audio and video pair, with some moderate extras to round out the package. I really did find the film to be a blast, and have to recommend it for a good watch as it was a highly enjoyable R-rated comedy from beginning to end.
Starring: John Hamm, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Jeremy Renner, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones
Directed by: Jeff Tomsic
Written by: Rob McKittrick, Mark Steilen
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French ,Spanish, Portuguese DD 5.1, English DVS DD 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Studio: Warner Brothers
Runtime: 101 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: Own Tag on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on August 28th 2018, or on Digital NOW!
Recommendation: Good Watch