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Blu-ray Review: Tag

August 28, 2018

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Loosely based on a true story, Tag is an amusing comedy that follows a group of friends who have all been playing the same game of tag for the past thirty years.

Every year, in the month of May, they track each other down around the country to continue the game that they started during recess as kids, providing an excuse for them to all come back into each other’s lives.

The film begins with Hogan “Hoagie” Malloy (Ed Helms) reuniting with his childhood friends Bob Callahan (Jon Hamm), Randy “Chilli” Cilliano (Jake Johnson) and Kevin Sable (Hannibal Buress) in the hope of finally tagging their old pal Jerry (Jeremy Renner), who has never been “it” in all their years of playing.

Now that Jerry is going to be getting married to Susan (Leslie Bibb), his wedding seems like the perfect opportunity to finally have him cornered. With ample help from Hoagie’s wife Anna (Isla Fisher) – who can’t actually join in the game because of a boyhood rule of “no girls allowed” but is no less enthusiastic about it – they try desperately to finally tag him, but he is going to increasingly ludicrous lengths to avoid being touched.

The friends are joined by a reporter from the Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Crosby (Annabelle Wallis), who starts off trying to interview Callahan about his foundation, but ends up tagging along for their game when she senses a better story. It’s not exactly high art, but for a studio comedy that blossomed out of a stranger than fiction true story, Tag is surprisingly enjoyable. The film makes the most of its outlandish setup, offering a funny and oddly charming ode to keeping a little part of your childhood alive as an adult.

The film actually reminded me of those older high-concept comedies like Liar Liar, in that it takes an over the top premise and just runs with it for the duration of the running time. The ensemble cast has good interplay together, bouncing off each other in scenes of both verbal and physical sparring, and there is a good amount of fun to be had in witnessing these grown men play tag. I had a good time watching it, and the film would also make a great double bill with the recent Game Night.

The Blu-ray also includes deleted scenes, a gag reel, and the short but satisfying featurette “Meet the Real Tag Brothers”, which offers an amusing look at the real men who inspired the story and the great lengths that they have really gone to in order to continue the game well into adulthood.

Tag is a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release. It’s 100 minutes and rated 14A.

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