It’s a common rite of passage to lose touch with one’s mates. Different paths pull apart seemingly timeless bonds, and there’s no choice but to move on. But in Tag, the new comedy from TV director Jeff Tomsic, one particular group of man-children have found a way to be a constant in each other’s lives: a never-ending game of (what some might call) “It”.
The tag group consists of Hogan (Ed Helms), Bob (Jon Hamm), Chilli (Jake Johnson), and Sable (Hannibal Buress). Another member, Jerry (Jeremy Renner), has announced his retirement from the game, commencing after his wedding day. He has a perfect record in never being tagged since they were nine years old, and the other four members see the wedding as a final opportunity to break it.
Despite the sweet and connective premise, there’s not much emotional heart to the movie. The screenplay by Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen has many chances to show a deeper warmth between these friends, but instead pursues a long string of nauseously repetitive action sequences. Jerry can escape being tagged in the most ridiculous and over-the-top ways, functioning more as an action hero (hence the casting of Renner) than a human being.
One can sense that there’s more to the central squad, who are well-drawn by the writers but never explored in any satisfying way. This is largely due to superfluous characters, some of whom do not add anything to the story, making them feel like filler for a thin concept stretched over 96 minutes. And although the roles are perfectly cast for some great comedic performances, the film short-changes their emotional talents.
Although Tag packs a few laughs and the premise is fun at the start, it does drag on. Instead of being about friendship and the need to stay connected with people, the film becomes only about a game of tag – and who’s really interested in paying a tenner to see that?
Tag is released nationwide on 29th June 2018.
Watch the trailer for Tag here: