TAG, the directorial debut of Jeff Tomsic, is based on a true story of a group of friends who have kept in touch with one another by playing a childhood game of tag for decades. Starring Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Hannibal Buress, and Jeremy Renner, the film is full of situational humor and caustic wit.
The friends find interesting and clever ways to sneak into each other’s lives during a designated month once a year to play tag. Each friend’s life has taken a different route relative to one another but the common ground that the friends lean on is the game that they purpose to do to keep them young at heart.
All the friends are quirky and humorous enough but there is little to no character development and even less plot. Jon Hamm plays the character of Bob Callahan, an insurance company CEO, straight enough. Ed Helms’ Hogan Malloy is a veterinarian who sneaks his way into Callahan’s building as a janitor in order to get into proximity for the tag. Jake Johnson plays Randy Cilliano, a stereotypical stoner aloof in the world. Hannibal Buress plays Kevin Sable, a kind of neurotic headcase who preoccupies himself with self-actualized paranoia in his introductory scene but does not show any sign of such personality quip anywhere else in the movie. And Jeremy Renner plays Jerry Pierce, the friend who has never been tagged.
The thin plot takes place around the friends trying to finally tag Jerry Pierce after 30 years of failing to do so.
And that’s the movie.
The crude humor interspersed into most of the scenes seems not just awkwardly inappropriate and distracting, but mostly just out of character for the movie.
Eventually, (spoilers), Jerry gets tagged, and the movie ends with a kind of heartfelt montage of real-life footage of the friends the movie has been portraying.
With a better script, the talent in the cast would presumably be much more interesting to watch, but as it is, there’s just so little to the movie other than a game of tag set against the intermittent crude joke or inappropriate reference, it makes the movie difficult to enjoy.
Although the movie is void of any discernible message or cinematic value, the mindless fun of the predictable, clunky, thinly manufactured patina of a plot may just be what some audiences want from a summer movie.
Article Written By Nick Murillo
eExtraNews.com Movie Reviewer