Review: ‘Tag’ is it for your raunchy summer comedy


Tag shows that a simple game can be the thread that binds across the miles and over the years.

(EDITORS NOTE: This is a repost from the blog Just Joia Shootin the Sh*t)I was privileged to attend the world premiere at the beautiful and historic Regency Village Theater in Westwood (the formerly Fox Theater), which seats an impressive 1300+! It was an amazing experience to be able to literally rub shoulders with the cast of this film as we all walked into the theater to take our seats.

You can’t make this stuff up… wait, this is based on a true story?!? Believe it or not, this ridiculous movie is based in part on a Wall Street Journal article from 2013! The movie differs a little bit. Our group of guys have been playing since they were little kids, but the original crew started in high school. There are some tags taken directly from the original crew’s home videos, but the majority of the film has taken artistic license to make the tags more entertaining and the film, overall more interesting.

Basically a group of men started a game of tag that has lasted over 30 years. Every month of May they play and then who ever is left as “it” at the end of the month has to suffer in shame until the next May. The game can be played anywhere in the world and the players just have to basically stalk each other in order to tag each other. They even have an official document stating the rules as well as their agreement to participate.

Jeremy Renner (Avengers) is Jerry, who has never been “it” and wants to protect his perfect record. The character is a bad ass, gym owning, black belt certified athlete who has always prided himself on never getting tagged as “it”. Jeremy Renner definitely pokes a little fun at himself and his role as “Hawkeye” in the Avengers films in this role.

Ed Helms (the Office) is “Hoagie” and the apparent main character of this film, along with his wife Anna played by Isla Fisher(Wedding Crashers). Isla Fisher slips effortlessly into yet another “crazy but beautiful” role as Hoagie’s equally competitive, slightly psycho wife, who is desperate to be included in the game and is the root of many of the slapstick follies. The two of them travel all around the United States to collect the rest of the group in order to knock Jerry off of his “perfect record” throne before he retires after he marries the beautiful Susan (Leslie Bibb). Watch the trailer below:

Hoagie gets himself hired as a janitor at a fortune 500 company and dons an elaborate disguise in order to tag successful CEO Callahan (Jon Hamm), who happens to be in the middle of a very important interview for the Wall Street Journal when the sneaky and ingenious tag takes place. Intrigued by the zaniness of the game and all that it entails, the writer played by Annabelle Wallis, demands to join the quest to collect the rest group and tag the un-tag-able.

First stop is Colorado, to pick up stoner extraordinaire Randy (Jake Johnson). Much like Jeremy Renner reprises his role as Hawkeye in this film, Randy is basically an exaggerated version of the role Jake Johnson played as “Nick” in “The New Girl” with just a ton more cannabis. Once he agrees to join the group in hunting down Jerry and tagging him DURING his wedding (where NONE of them were invited), they move on to coerce Sable played by Hannibal Buress (Broad City) while he is in the middle of a therapy session.

Once the team is assembled, they all travel together to the men’s home town only to discover that Jerry has been expecting them. Shenanigans ensue, including a joke or two that might cross the line regarding what’s ok and what’s not ok to joke about.

I laughed my ass off throughout this film. While I highly doubt this film will earn any award nominations, I enjoyed just about every minute of it. I know it’s hard to imagine, but it does carry a heart warming message and the group became even closer than they already have been over the past couple of decades. In a world of high tech gadgets and gizmos we all depend on to help us remain connected to each other, this film shows that a simple game can be the thread that binds across the miles and over the years.

Tag is currently in theaters.


Guest Critic Joia DaVida

Joia DaVida is a Jersey girl at heart, but after living in Southern Florida for over 20 years, packed up her two brilliant and beautiful daughters and road tripped across America to relocate in LA, California. Now she’s living life to it’s fullest, enjoying everything Los Angeles has to offer – including CBM and genre films. Follow her blog here.