Tag is a prime example of a movie with an excellent idea for a premise, but is hindered by severely flawed execution.
Tag stars the ensemble of Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Jake Johnson, and Hannibal Buress as (based on the true story) of four childhood friends – now adults – that created their own rules for a game of tag that spans every May. Their ultimate goal is to tag the most elusive one in the group, Jerry Pierce (Renner), since he has eluded being tagged since the game’s inception.
Tag is at its best during the action scenes. The slo-mo effects with internal dialogue is a fun creative choice that works well and could be enough to salvage the movie for some.
Unfortunately, nothing else works. None of the performances resonate at all until the very end via a few bizarre scenes that do not work within the framework of the story. The actors have no good material to work with. The screenplay, directing, and editing are all sloppily and poorly executed. The movie, despite the intense nature of the game itself; fails to elicit any emotion. It tries, but is so poorly done that few will likely invest into it without being overwhelmed with confusion.
It is also important to point out that this movie is based on a true story of adults that played the game for over 20 years. While they do try to tell the audience that it is based on a true story, they gloss over it so quickly that it feels jarring and not like a proper tribute – especially since it never says that it is based on a true story.
What could be the most important aspect of the film — the comedy — also lacks in terms of quality. There are a few funny moments, for sure, but over half of the jokes do not land and really drag the movie down.
While the idea of Tag is an intriguing premise, the actual movie itself is extremely flawed. With what feels like a movie that is rushed and thrown together last second, also noting that the comedy does not work at least half of the time, I cannot recommend this movie. Sure, it will be a fun watch for some, but I cannot help but feel disappointed with how the film turned out because of how good it could have been.