I did a poll on Facebook about what movie I should watch next, and “Tag” won. The poll was almost two weeks ago, so I’m sorry I got to it so late.
SITWOL: What you see on the trailer is what you get. Didn’t see the trailer? Okay, grown men play tag.
There isn’t too much to Tag as a film. It occasionally tries to do some interesting things with cinematography, but nothing exceptional. None of the acting is particularly well done or memorable. None of the characters are extremely fleshed out. The plot is rather formulaic.
In short, Tag is a movie that is HEAVILY reliant on its comedy. Thus, your enjoyment of it almost exclusively depends on whether or not you think the film is funny.
And I gotta be honest with you guys, I didn’t find Tag all that funny.
“So, what do you find funny, Steve?”
Well, I typically prefer extremely well-executed, subtle humor. But most of the humor in tag is very obvious and in-your-face.
I enjoy clever call-backs, puns, and play-on-words. Tag has some of that, but nothing amazing.
I love dark humor. There’s not much of that.
I really like humor that intelligently plays off premises of a well-defined plot. But you can’t have that kind of humor with a generic plot structure.
I enjoy humor based upon well developed characters, the kind of humor that exposes a character’s psyche in relatable, realistic ways. But again, you can’t really have that in this movie because most of the characters in Tag are not very well defined:
You’ve got Jon Hamm, the rich CEO of a nameless company that he can apparently ditch for two weeks.
You have Jake Johnson, the stereotypical man-child stoner.
You have Jeremy Renner, who’s just kind of a hyper-competitive asshole.
You have Hannibal Buress who…. honestly, I think he just played Hannibal Buress. Oddly enough, it was his lines that made me laugh the hardest… the man is funny.
You have Isla Fisher, who is extremely competitive to the point of psychopathy (she was the second funniest character).
And you have Ed Helms. Ed Helms does what Ed Helms does best: play a forgettable wet blanket.
So you have all of these characters together, and they’re all trying to play tag. Specifically, they’re all trying to tag Renner’s character because he’s never been tagged before. There’s loads of potential with that premise.
They could make a bunch of interesting, intuitive characters that are all trying to navigate and strategize past their opponents. Unfortunately, there’s not much of that. And most of the “strategizing” in the movie is either extremely inept, or overthought out to the point of ridiculousness.
They could emphasize a tightly knit group of friends that show their closeness through action, through inside jokes, through things that close guy friends do. Instead, most of the closeness is told to you through exposition.
Thus, because there really isn’t anything smartly done in this movie, I often felt bored and uninvested.
The soundtrack for this movie was either generic or obnoxious.
While occasionally boring and eyeroll-worthy, there really isn’t anything ghastly infuriating with Tag. What we have here is a serviceable story with numerous, singular attempts at comedy. So did the commercials make you laugh a lot? Then think about seeing this movie. If not, then skip it, because there isn’t much more that Tag has to offer.
4 out of 10