I went into Tag crossing my fingers that it would be as fun of a ride as it looked like and it was even BETTER than I imagined. I left the theater in awe of how funny it was. Before I even dive into it, let me just say this: if you love R-rated comedies a la Wedding Crashers, Old School, Superbad, etc., go see this movie! It’s the first one in quite some time where the laughs never stop coming.
The plot is pretty simple: five childhood friends have played tag for the entire month of May every year for the past 30 years. It has kept them in touch even as they’ve grown older and all moved to different cities. They literally will fly to the cities where the others live to get them in the most random of places when they least expect it. As Hoagie (Ed Helms) says, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” It’s a great motto that I think a lot of adults need to hear sometimes. There’s no reason to lose all of the child in you when you “grow up”, and Tag does a fantastic job reminding us of this.
The film begins with Hoagie going undercover as a janitor at a company owned by Bob Callahan (Jon Hamm), so he can tag Bob and then tell him that Jerry (Jeremy Renner) is retiring from the game after this May. Jerry’s never been tagged, so this is their last change to finally tag him. Jerry is getting married so Hoagie pitches that it will be the perfect time to catch Jerry off guard and get him. Hoagie happens to tell Bob all this while he is being interviewed by Rebecca Crosby (Annabelle Wallis) from the Wall Street Journal. She’s incredibly intrigued by this tag story, and she wants to come along as she thinks this is the angle her story needs.
Along with Hoagie’s intense wife Anna (Isla Fisher), they go pick up other friends Chilli (Jake Johnson) and Sable (Hannibal Buress) before all heading up to their hometown of Spokane, Washington to try and tag Jerry. Jerry is incredible at evading tags and is extreme to the point of near insanity. Everyone in the cast has a different personality, all of which are hilarious. The film goes in plenty of fun directions, with small roles for Rashida Jones and Thomas Middleditch along the way.
Hannibal Buress steals the show as the calm yet very out there Sable, with Jake Johnson taking a close second as stoner Chilli. The entire cast does a great job. The film is original, it’s hysterical, it makes you feel good, and it’s surprisingly based on a true story of childhood friends who really play this game every year.
Wrapping this up, Tag is the comedy I’ve been waiting quite a while for. It has nonstop laughs, great characters, an original plot, and a lot of heart too. It truly impressed me in a way no comedy has in years, and I highly recommend anyone who wants to have a fun time at the movie theater go see it. My friends and I immediately started playing a game of tag outside the theater once the movie ended…I dare you to not do the same. It’ll be hard to resist.