Monday, December 3, 2018

Tag

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! You're "It!"



Tag – 4 out of 5

When I heard about the true story that inspired this movie, I realized that my life just isn’t reaching the level of potential for fun as these gentlemen are achieving.  Imagine, playing a single game of tag for decades with your best buds.  Their real-life adventures are cool enough but adapting their story into a film has tons of potential for hilarity.  So, does Tag live up to that potential?  For the most part, it does.

Ed Helms dressed as an old lady fighting Hawkeye.
Stop drilling, Tag, you've struck oil!

Friends Hogan “Hoagie" Malloy (Ed Helms), Bob Callahan (Jon Hamm), Randy “Chili” Cilliano (Jake Johnson), Kevin Sable (Hannibal Buress) and Jerry Pierce (Jeremy Renner) have been playing tag every May since the early 80s.  During that time, Pierce has never been “It” and Hoagie has made it his mission to finally end that streak.  Pierce is on the verge of getting married and this seems like the perfect opportunity for the men to strike.  However, as they return to their hometown, they re-learn why Pierce has never been “It” before and it seems his skills have only gotten better.

Play this for full effect.

With the simplicity of its unique concept and a charisma rich cast, Tag really resonated with me and I had a lot of fun watching it.  The humor is never too vulgar and, instead, relies heavily on satire and slapstick in order to sell the gags and bits.  For example, the film heavily parodies the action genre and films like Predator and Point Break for sequences when the crew is attempting to make Pierce "It."  It is in these action/comedy moments that the film is at its strongest and most amusing.  The product does carry a lot of little funny moments and one-liners but it is in these action spectacles that I found I was laughing the hardest and having the best time.

He makes you "It" through the power of his handsomeness.

Another aspect that really made the film strong for me is the cast.  You already have proven funny players in it like Helms, Hamm, Buress and Johnson but you also have Renner who is delivering a funny role and you also have Isla Fisher playing Hoagie’s wife and she is just hysterical.  Add in some great comedic actors filling in supporting roles and you have no shortage of people who know how to supply humorous scenes.  Adding to this, as well, is the fact the core members all have some great chemistry together and make their fictional friendship feel palpable and real.

I really like Jake Johnson.  The man is hysterical in everything I see him in.
I want to be his friend.

Concerning drawbacks, I didn’t find many.  Replay value might be a little low on this one and there are sequences of the film that feel like they are dragging.  Ultimately, however, the one real drawback I saw was in the character of Rebecca Crosby (played by Annabelle Wallis).  She plays a reporter who is originally doing a piece on Bob Callahan’s character but once she finds out that he’s involved in this game, she decides to report on that event instead.  She has some amusing moments and her character never really feels like it gets in the way but I can’t help but feel like her character could have done more and been more integral to the action.  As it stands, she felt a tad superfluous.

However, any drawbacks are fixed due to the presence of Buress.

Tag is a fun idea that delivers entertainment in a stylized action/comedy format and fills it with satire and a great cast.  It has some minor drawbacks but nothing that hurt the overall fun factor of the feature.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really want to play tag.  I say this before the traumatic memories return and remind me that, because of my tubby body, I was always “It.”

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