Screen Entertainment

‘Tag’ surprisingly good

Tag brings the prats to the pratfalls, and thanks to a brisk pace, surprisingly it never outstays its welcome, writes Darren Bevan

Every year, during May, a group of friends come together to play a game of tag. 

It's a tradition that's been running since they were kids - and it's based on a true story. 

It sounds like a bizarre proposition, but that's the basis for Jeff Tomsic's frat-pack movie, Tag. After some 30 years of playing, one of the gang's number Jerry (Jeremy Renner) has never been caught. 

So Hogan, Bob, Chilli and Sable (Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson and Hannibal Buress respectively) gather together with the sole intent of making it this time, given that Jerry is getting married... 

There's little plot to Tag, a film that has some briskness of pace, lunacy of execution, and is based in some premise of heart.

However, there are some moments that stand out in this cinematic version of The Washington Post story - albeit for the wrong reason. 

An entire sequence based on miscarriage is anything but funny, leaving the film with a sour taste that its initial geniality fails to shake off. It's a woefully misjudged set of moments and deserves to have been struck from the script, leading more to a shocked intake of breath, rather than a shocked laugh. 

Equally, the film's final desire to wrap everything up in a mawkish hug is just sickly rather than sentimental - and while the film's final shots really do return to the premise, the journey to get there feels cheapened by some of these moments. 

However, Tomsic's slow-mo variations on the action sequences of people getting tagged is quite well executed.

The ensemble gel well, and while Isla Fisher's hysterical wife to Hogan may make you question her sanity, the group makes a good fist of pulling off some bromance chemistry, amid the early Bro-vengers assemble montage shots. 

Ultimately, Tag brings the prats to the pratfalls, and thanks to a brisk pace, surprisingly it never outstays its welcome, delivering some unexpected LOL moments and some subtle ad-libbed one-liners that will cause more mirth than expected. 

Tag 

Cast: Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jake Johsnon, Hannibal Buress, Annabelle Wallis, Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm, Leslie Bibb 

Director: Jeff Tomsic 

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