Film review: Tag has a spirited cast, but is let down by screenplay
The Wall Street Journal published an article in 2013 about a group of school friends who have managed to maintain contact with one another for decades by playing a game of tag every year in the merry month of May.
This true-life story forms the basis for Jeff Tomsic’s debut – Hoagie (Ed Helms) assembles friends Bob (Jon Hamm), Chilli (Jake Johnson) and Sable (Hannibal Buress) to continue their ritual game, deciding to make the never-been-tagged Jerry (Jeremy Renner) as the prime target.
The scene seems set for a riotous and touching exploration of male friendship. What we get instead is a film that falls short of its vibrant premise and the comedic potential of its game cast.
This is a real shame, as its key players, particularly Hamm’s arrogant businessman and Johnson’s down-on-his-luck slacker, share a crackling chemistry whose barbed asides and incessant bickering give us a glimpse of the deeply funny film this could have been.
Rather than focus on this friendship and the childish extremes to which the characters resort to one-up each other, Tomsic and screenwriters Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen lumber the story with pointless subplots - Bob and Chilli’s romantic rivalry over Rashida Jones’ old flame has little impact on proceedings - and a predictable last act reveal so dramatic in nature it feels like it belongs in a different , much darker film.
You may also want to watch:
Despite its spirited cast and the occasional strong visual gag, Tag is let down by a heavy-footed screenplay and unfocused direction.
- 1 Matchday Recap: Aluko brace not enough as Blues draw at Cambridge
- 2 Covid vaccine boosters now available at walk in sessions
- 3 MoD warns about late-night Apache training
- 4 Couple to bring 'family feel' to Sudbury pub
- 5 US jets to practice flypast over Suffolk this morning
- 6 New fishmonger shop opens in Suffolk market town
- 7 Have you had the 'worst cold ever' that is going round Suffolk?
- 8 'Anywhere I can help I will' - Peter Reid joins Town in consultancy role
- 9 Driver presses ahead with police complaint despite losing speeding trial
- 10 Suffolk man admits owning more than 25,000 indecent images of children