Directed By: Jeff Tomsic
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Annabelle Wallis, Jake Johnson, Leslie Bibb, Nora Dunn, Steve Berg, Rashida Jones, et. al.
Rated: R
Grade: B+

For the last 30 years, five lifelong friends have devoted one month out of every year to a no-holds-barred, anything goes game of tag. After learning that their best player and friend Jerry, who has never been “it” in all the years they’ve played, is planning on quitting once the current game is finished, Hoagie sets a plan in motion to finally see their friend tagged. Joined by a reporter who is inadvertently made aware of the game while interviewing Bob, one of the players in the group, for a magazine article, they use increasingly elaborate ruses in an attempt to catch Jerry off-guard in the days leading up to his wedding.

Although loosely based on a true story, the actual plot of the film, and the characters used, are all original to the movie. That said, the actors are all believable as a group of lifelong friends, with all of them sharing similar personality traits while remaining individual people. The actual plot itself could be a bit more fleshed out since the “let’s tag Jerry” motive doesn’t hold up to some of the massive lengths the characters go to in order to corner their friend and finally tag him. And, while the ultimate motivation for one of the characters is eventually revealed, it’s almost too late to redeem the movie, though the final sequence makes up for it partially.

There are no obvious special effects outside of background filler, which isn’t noticeable.

This is a fun movie that will appeal to most people. Despite some clunky bits of plotting, the general story is amusing, and the trap sequences in which the group tries to tag Jerry are interesting to watch. The only thing that didn’t sit well with me was a minor plot point in which Jerry’s fiancée fakes a pregnancy, and eventually a miscarriage, which detracted from the overall light tone of the film. Overlooking that minor hiccup, this should stand up to multiple viewings, and it doesn’t require a ton of effort to follow. It should be worth spending the money to rent or buy.

Tag isn’t available free to stream anywhere at the moment, but it can be rented from Redbox or Netflix home delivery service, or purchased from a participating store or on-line retailer.

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