HOLLYWOOD—Ugh, some movies are silly and some are downright hard to believe as a possible true tale. Yes, the movie “Tag,” that game we all played as kids, turns out to be inspired by a true story. Trust me I really couldn’t fathom this to be fact, but the more research and digging that I did, I realized it was no hoax. Grown men played this game as a way of staying bonded to one another as they aged.
At the catalyst of the game is Jerry (Jeremy Renner), who has done the unexpected: he has never been tagged by his pals. Frustrated by his resilience, pals Hoagie (Ed Helms), Bob (Jon Hamm), Chili (Jake Johnson) and Kevin (Hannibal Buress) craft a plan to do the impossible: to tag Jake. Joining the guys along with the mayhem are Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Annabelle Wallis and Leslie Bibb. Here’s the problem I have with “Tag” it’s so over the top silly, as a viewer it’s impossible to immerse yourself into the narrative. What you’re watching seems so foreign, nearly impossible, even if you had the opportunity to indulge in such chaos, you wouldn’t.
There are indeed moments that will leave you bellyaching in the theater seat, but after a few of the antics, include a hilarious one at an AA meeting, things get tired and old really soon. I mean Jerry is always one step ahead of his cohorts which makes you wonder just how he can have such an edge, where his pals have NEVER caught him off guard.
It looks like Jerry’s wedding is the perfect event to catch Jerry at his most vulnerable. Too bad none of the pals were invited to Jerry’s wedding to Susan (Leslie Bibb). I was quite surprised to the degree that the writers were willing to take some jokes in order to land a joke or two for the audience. Some work some not so much. We all know Helms, Johnson and Buress are comics, but the movie allows Renner and Hamm to showcase a bit of their comedic talents.
Is “Tag” one of a kind when it comes to comedy? Yes, but at the same time that notion of reality seems like such a stretch attempting to emerge yourself into the narrative without questioning every single thing that transpires is impossible. “Tag” is fun; it’s silly, so silly that it’s hard to take it serious even if the goal is to not take it serious.