Kyle Says TAG Is A Great Game For Kids, But An Even Greater Movie For Adults.

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FILM REVIEW: TAG

BY KYLE ARANGO

Comedies have been really making a comeback this year, could Tag become the best of the bunch? The answer is 100% yes. Right up there with Game Night, Tag tells a refreshing story full of heart and laughs. Directed by Jeff Tomsic and stars Jeremy Renner, John Hamm, Isla Fisher, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Ed Helms, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb, and Hannibal Buress. The film tells the true story of a group of friends who since high school have been playing the same game of tag for thirty years. This is an incredibly fascinating premise with a terrific cast to round it out. However, what makes these two films different is the type of humor they capitalize on. Game Night was smart humor that relied on the plot and actors for the laughs whereas Tag relays on the more classical style of physical humor and premise for the jokes. This worked so well. From the jump, you are wondering how such an absurd premise like adults playing tag could work and the answer is to embrace it. Everyone involved knows exactly what kind of movie they are making, and they take full advantage of that.

When making a comedy, the most important aspect is for the film to create laughs. If the jokes do not land, the movie will sink faster than a brick. Most flaws can be forgiven if a comedy delivers on the jokes and Tag certainly does. Most of the comedy comes from the tagging scenes. They are what carries the movie and these sequences are so enthralling that you cannot wait for the next one. The characters do the most insane things in order to avoid being tagged or to do the tagging. For example, John Hamm throws a chair at a window just to escape at one point. It is directed incredibly well. When they are running, there is a combination of slow-motion and dynamic shots that bring the action together. You feel as if you are running with the characters and that makes for a more interactive experience.

As mentioned before, the major point that makes Tag work so well is its cast. The entire friend group is played so well that you want to be friends with them. Ed Helms gives his best performance here since The Hangover and plays a man who is so determined to win the game that he will go to any lengths. Isla Fischer is his wife, who has a similar habit, and does some fantastic work with that. Jake Johnson and Hannibal Buress haven’t impressed me in any movies so far in their careers but here, they absolutely knock it out of the park. Everything Buress says is comedic gold and Johnson is a great stoner who is not too over the top. John Hamm continues to prove that he is more than Mad Men and shows some fantastic comedic chops. Like Channing Tatum and John Cena, I think Hamm has found his genre. Finally, Jeremy Renner is fantastic as the member of the group who has never been tagged. He has these great moments in the tagging sequences where you hear what is going on in his mind and it is just hysterical. The cast makes you laugh so much that you miss what is coming next because everyone is still recovering from the last joke.

In Tag, the themes it conveys really turns the film from just a funny movie into a heartfelt movie about friendship and how no matter how old we get or how much we change, your friends will always be there for you. They make a simple child’s game become something we all wish we were all playing again. By using the game in such a unique sense, not only do we get laugh but we are also shown the bond these friends share unlike any other. If we didn’t care about the characters, then it would be just a movie about a bunch of grown men playing tag. The only flaws I can think of are there are moments that can get a little too unbelievable, but you just let it go because it is that much fun. Of course, throwing donuts can’t really stop a person dead in their tracks, but it is funny so you go with it.

At the end of it all, Tag is an exhilarating comedy that will make you laugh and smile all at the same time. The directing and its cast are terrific, and the tagging sequences are some of the most fun you’ll have in a movie this year. I highly recommend it for everyone, except, and ironically, for kids.

 

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