Hoagie (Ed Helms), Bob (John Hamm), Chilli (Jake Johnson), Sable (Hannibal Buress), and Jerry (Jeremy Renner) have began playing tag when they were childhood friends. Now they are now adults with jobs and families and live in different parts of the country. But every May, all bets are off as they continue playing for the entire month. They will stop at nothing to tag one another. After all, you don’t stop playing because you get old. You get old because you stop playing.
This year, Jerry shows up to tag Bob, now an executive, as he is being interviewed by Rebecca Crosby (Annabelle Wallis) from the Wall Street Journal. Jerry tells Bob that Jerry, who has never been tagged since they started playing, is retiring after this year. Rebecca, intrigued by the story of the friends playing tag their entire lives, abandons her original story to tag along on their final attempt to get Jerry.
Bob, Hoagie, Rebecca, and Hoagie’s over-eager wife Anna (Isla Fisher) round up Sable and Chilli and head home. Jerry is getting married. His wedding will provide the perfect opportunity to tag him. When Jeremy’s fiancé Susan (Leslie Bibb) finds out the crew is back in town, she forces them to create an amendment to the game banning game play during any of the wedding related events. Outside of that, it is game on.
Tag is based on the unbelievable true story of a group of friends who have been playing tag every year for 23 years.
With a cast this stacked with comedy heavy hitters, I was a bit nervous they would fall prey to the all too familiar scenario of handing them a terrible script, hoping their star power would carry the film. Fortunately, that isn’t the case. Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, and John Hamm have great on-screen chemistry. Their timing and delivery meld together perfectly. As if the guys weren’t funny enough, they throw in Isla Fisher as Helms’ wife. Her unbridled enthusiasm and super aggressive game play makes the men look like they’re still the young boys who started playing tag. She steals almost every scene she’s in. If you were wondering where Hawkeye was during Infinity War, well, he was busy playing tag. Jeremy Renner’s character, Jerry, definitely seems to have inherited a bit of Hawkeye’s superhero-ness. You would have to have some sort of special skills to avoid getting tagged for decades as your friends were going all-in on the game. Watching the film, it’s easy to see how he broke both his arms during the filming.
Just before the credits role, we get to see some footage of the real friends playing the game and a shot of the actual article that was written to show Tag is based on a true story. It’s fairly obvious, however, that they have taken a literal creative liberty with just how extreme the game was. I fully support the exaggeration as it makes for a hilarious and entertaining movie. The action is believable, even if Jerry has superpowers akin to Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes character, narrating each incoming attack as he sees it in slow motion.
With a fun story and a hilarious cast, Tag is an excellent choice if you want to get out and enjoy yourself for a bit. There isn’t much to think about, just a bunch of friends playing a game of tag. You could wait for the rental, but it’s worth checking out in theaters.