Tag a fun, but forgettable ride
Tag, a genial comedy about best buds who have been playing the same game of tag for 30 years, is about arrested adolescence at its core.
And this haphazard collection of setups, stunts and gags has that same scattershot, digressive energy. The best way to appreciate this fitfully funny collection of japes and jests is to treat it like any teenage boy in your midst: Focus on the positives and know that even its worst is only a phase.
As a Hangover-esque bromance-slash-action comedy, Tag is mostly set pieces during which the principals try to outsmart and corner each other: Director
Jeff Tomsic stages these sequences as typical slow-motion shootouts, only with powdered doughnuts and knitting bags as ammo.
But it’s all in good fun within the world of a film in which the bruises and scrapes are never more than cosmetic and competition is a barely sublimated form of dude-love at its most ride-or-die. With the exception of a bizarre recurring joke involving miscarriage and an overarching delight with f-bombs and garden-variety raunch, Tag wears its innocence on its polo-shirt sleeve, even sneaking in a shameless play for sympathy late in the third act.
The key to Tag’s success lies in the ensemble of accomplished comic players, who mesh here with antic, good-natured chemistry.
Helms and Hamm are joined by Jake Johnson, Hannibal and Jeremy Renner. Isla Fisher is less ingratiating as Helms’ cutthroat wife, and Annabelle Wallis often looks utterly at sea as the Journal reporter who joins the guys on their greatest “get” ever.
But thanks to the movie’s nimble group of actors, their deadpan interior monologues and some well-executed ambushes and booby traps, Tag winds up being an undemanding, if instantly disposable, pleasure.