Tag, a based on true story about high school friends who have been playing the same game of tag for thirty years, is one of those movies that is a lot better in execution than it has any right to be.
The better looking versions of these long time game players are portrayed by Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Lil Rey Howery and Jeremy Renner, with Isla Fisher added to dispose the idea that this is a strictly all guys club. Renner is the never been tagged Jerry, whose ninja skills, elusiveness, speed and sheer ability allows him to play the game at a more intellectual and adult level than his stuck in childhood buddies. Everyone is trying to catch up with Jerry character, plot and theme wise.
The impending marriage (that ultimate ritual of growing up and putting away childish things) of Jerry becomes the device that allows the rest to tag, catch up, mature and explore their friendship and motivations- ranging from fear of losing their special closeness to achieving that final bucket list item. How this group balances the game with the moral questions the game creates and the responsibility that life requires is the seesaw for all of Tag’s comedy, drama and heart. They move from foolishly playing the game to smartly playing the game of life. From knowing what is a ploy to knowing what is real.
Director Jeff Tomsic also knows how to shoot a good game. The constant thrust of the game makes for some dynamic tracking shots, slow motion three stooges moments and horror movie stalking in the woods spoofs.
In the end, Tag is it.
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