Childhood games and traditions may seem silly, but with them comes a pact that helps solidify the friendships that start with them. Based on true events, today’s review is based on events of a group of guys who played Tag for almost three decades and the craziness that came with it. Another comedy arrives this weekend and yours truly is here to help get your movie going experience on, or not depending on the movie. Let’s gets started as I review:
Movie: Tag (2018)
Good Pace: A movie about a childhood game requires a good pace to capture that energy and Tag succeeds in securing this. The movie constantly keeps the gang on their toes, as the crew makes attempts to discover the whereabouts of Jerry (Jeremy Renner) and then execute their plans. Most of the scenes are high adrenaline bouts of running, with obstacles courses, clever dodges, and a few other moves. It keeps up the fun of the movie and does little to venture off the course of bringing you back into your youth.
Surprisingly Deep: While it is a comedy, Tag somehow manages to take a break away from the silliness by getting into the character stories. As a balance between fun and depth, the movie does a unique job presenting the background history, by using the temporarily lapses in the excitement to interview the crew. Rebecca (Annabelle Wallis) is an interviewer who gets dragged into the adventure, and to further understand the trend, asks the group how things evolved. Through this story, the characters evolve, and the relationship dives into something much more emotionally charged than I ever expected.
Funny: Is the comedy funny? Yes it is, and the movie does a nice job of broadening the comedic styles across the board to not only help each character stand out, but keep the comedy fresh and fun. I myself enjoyed the physical comedy of the group, which felt like a more ridiculous version of Home Alone’s stunts. In addition, Hannibal Buressdry, monotone delivery was perfect to offset all the yelling, high drug and angry comedy that the rest brought. Matched with the energy of the movie, the comedy helped rejuvenate the youthful energy of the movie and keep everything fun to watch.
Good Balance of Characters: My concerns for actors getting underutilized was misplaced for once, and Tag was able to keep everyone practically involved in the adventure. Much of this has to do with the presentation of backstory and modern-day planning, but everyone who gets pulled into the game stays in the game… in a nonthreatening manner that is. And thanks to the blend of comedy styles, every character is very well utilized to further expand the game at hand.
Crosses the line sometimes: Some of the styles in this movie are very dark and mature. It’s these elements that sometimes cross way over the line, jumping into topics that aren’t worth joking about. Super competitive people will relish in the tactics used to win, but for me, the writers sometimes went a little too far in impeding the sanctity of things that needed to be impeded on.
Sexual Innuendo Banter: Innuendos are a great device when deployed sparingly and timed right. Tag accomplishes this goal well, but there are a few moments where the aggressive comedy diverges from the path to just stuff more sexual antics into the mix. One of these times was completely unnecessary, a lead that was doomed to fail and could have been edited out. When the banter about this stuff continues to occur, it got old due to how irrelevant it needed.
Over the Top At Times: The whole movie is over the top, I get that, but sometimes it flew sky high into the childish and moronic territories. The game of tag has a lot of stakes to winning, and when competitiveness gets in the way, the adrenaline rush causes one to do stupid things. However, this movie takes it a little too far, leading to yes amusing antics at times, but other times very destructive habits that again crossed a line not only into illegal areas, but stupid territory again.
Isla Fisher’s Character: This has nothing to do with the actress herself, but the direction they took her in. Anna is a firecracker to say it nicely, but the direction had her a little too obnoxious and bipolar for my liking. At times it came off well, but other times it was just annoying to see her aggressively yell, curse, or sometimes strike a person for no reason. It never got any better for me, and some of my fellow movie goers agreed that her character may have been the weakest link of the group. Still, you want that firecracker wild woman, you are in the right area.
Tag is a movie that doesn’t sell you short on the simplistic, fun, youthful adventure that it is. It’s a ridiculous, over the top comedy that is incredibly entertaining and should keep you in the film for the entire ride. With a great ensemble and multiple styles integrated together, one should find a few laughs held in the confines of this game. Despite the surprising depth to the movie, the ridiculous antics, cursing/dirty comedy still cross the line and Fisher’s character didn’t help to maintain the balance they would have strived for. Still, the movie succeeds in recapturing the spirit of youth, and is worth a trip to the theater as a group or date movie. If you can’t catch that together, then save your money for the rental service and wait for next week’s flick.
Movie Overall: 6.5