Its gimmick often doesn’t feel like a gimmick
Though its premise, (literally a group of adults playing tag), seems a little short on substance, Tag actually manages to entertain in ways that many comedies miserably fail at. It is a well paced, joyously acted piece with a sound message and some half-decent jokes to with it.
Every year, during the month of May, five friends gather together to play an incredible game of tag. Ed Helms (Hogan) is desperate to make this year different as Jerry (Jeremy Renner), a man who has never been tagged, is getting married and wants to give up the game forever. The remaining members travel to the wedding without an invite to make sure Jerry doesn’t give up the game completely un-tagged.
Tag is excellent in the way it doesn’t take itself seriously, but takes its art seriously. This is a film that knows to be perceived funny, it has to seem real, with quality delivery of its jokes. This is, in part, aided by a cast who are not known for their comedy roles. Instead of bringing in the usual bunch of has-been comedy actors, Tag takes Jeremy Renner, John Hamm, and Jake Johnson and gives them mainline roles, in which they can supply a their own unique style of comedy, making the film feel far fresher than it should.
Besides this, Tag does have some similarities to other group comedies, especially in the way the story flows, but for a modern day comedy that is fairly understandable. Standing out from the comedy crowd is very difficult with so many films of a similar nature, and Tag doesn’t manage this with its somewhat under-baked plot. However, its outright silliness and great cast more than make up for this.
Tag isn’t a world beater, and it isn’t a remarkable piece of film making, but it is different, and its gimmick often doesn’t feel like a gimmick. The cast are more than enough to entertain, and really, its a bit of friendly fun that has been turned into an entertaining film fighting against a crowd of mediocrity.
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