|Jake Johnson, Ed Helms and Jon Hamm in Tag (New Line Cinema).|
MOVIE REVIEWThe concept of making a movie about five adult men playing an extreme game of Tag sounds mildly amusing until you find out that this fictional story is based on fact. Then it sounds a whole lot better. New Line Cinema’s comedy film Tag is actually based on a true story and The Wall StreetJournal article titled, “It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being It,” by Russell Adams. However, two of the real “taggers” were in attendance for the screening that I attended who explained that the finished product is rather loosely based on their real-life events. The real group consists of ten men while in Tag there are only five. The Wall Street Journal story was not written by a woman and probably wasn’t along for the adventure as she does in the movie. In fact, it is probably safe to say that most of movie is made up but inspired by real events that are shown in the form of home movies during the film’s credits.
|Steve Berg, Jake Johnson, Ed Helms, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm and Annabelle Wallis. (New Line Cinema)|
|The champ (Jeremy Renner) in action. (New Line Cinema)|
Tag is based on a fun concept but probably won’t be the funniest film of the summer unless you are really into pratfalls and foul language. Think of The Three Stooges talking about crude sexual antics and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what this movie is all about. It’s all talk though. Some might liken the banter to “locker room talk,” but it’s really pretty crude and wears thin pretty quickly.
Also starring in Tag is Nora Dunn who plays Hogan’s pizza roll-making mom for her son’s friends, Steve Berg who plays a childhood friend who was never allowed to play Tag with the group and Rashida Jones who plays the former love interest of two of the single players.
|Leslie Bibb as Susan the bride. (New Line Cinema)|
The stunts are amazing (it is said that Renner broke both his arms during the first day of shooting and they had to be CGI-ed for the finished movie) and the chase scenes are fun to watch, but overall, if the writers had spent more time on better dialogue and character development, this would be a better flick, There is a better story hidden here that could have been told.
If you can get past the course talk, there is an enjoyable story to be found here and a brief message about the importance of male friendship, something that should have been explored a bit more in my opinion. Ironically, it’s the film’s last five minutes or so that really makes the movie and leaves you with a “maybe that was worth seeing after all” feeling.