Directed by: Jeff Tomsic
Screenplay Written by: Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen
Screen Story by: Mark Steilen
Based on the Wall Street Journal article entitled “It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being It,” by Russell Adams
Produced by: Todd Garner and Mark Steilen
Executive Producers: Hans Ritter, Richard Brener, Walter Hamada and Dave Neustadter
Starring: Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Annabelle Wallis, Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher, Leslie Bibb, Hannibal Buress, with Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner.
Remember this track from Crash Test Dummies (1993)?
Once there was this kid who
Got into an accident and couldn’t come to school
But when he finally came back
His hair had turned from black into bright white
He said that it was from when
The cars had smashed him so hard
Watch Tag then try and get that song out of your head!
Instead of a kid who had an accident, we have: Benjamin Franklin who once (apparently) said, ‘we don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.’
Taking this philosophy to heart, a group of first graders began a game of tag… that lasted for 23 years…
Tag is inspired by the true story published in the Wall Street Journal, “It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being It,” by Russell Adams where every year for the entire month of May, Hoagie (Ed Helms), Sable (Hannibal Buress), Chilli (Jake Johnson) and Callahan (Jon Hamm), stalk each other – with the help of their wives – (such as Hoagie’s wife Anna (Isla Fisher), who takes the game far too seriously), until the end of the month where whomever was tagged last would have to remain the loser of the group, he-who-is-tagged, as apposed to those-who-are-not (there are no winners here), until the following year.
Although, he-who-has-never-been-tagged could be called the champion: Jerry Pierce (Jeremy Renner), the ultimate player, the elusive, never-been-caught, until self-proclaimed heart of the gang, Hoagie comes up with the diabolical plan to tag Pierce on his wedding day.
Gathering the guys from across the country – Callahan mid-interview with Rebecca Crosby (Annabelle Wallis) from the Wall Street Journal – they head back to their home-town in Washington, journalist Rebecca tagging (ha, ha) along, intrigued when she realises the grown men will go to any lengths to not be the last tagged, and really, to keep that child spirit alive; to keep in touch (literally) with old friends.
Mmmm, mmm, mmm, hmmm… mmm, mmmm, mmm, hmm, mmmmmm…
A funny story, but enough to stretch into a full-length movie? With a little bit of heart-warming drama thrown in the mix – just!
Director, Jeff Tomsic (Comedy Central’s “Broad City”) makes full use of the stellar cast where it wasn’t the obvious that I found funny, like those slapstick moments including comedic win-at-all-costs flying leaps. Although, the granny outfit on Hoagie was delightfully ticklish. For me it was more those subtle changes in facial expressions that hit the mark, wonderfully built upon with the black and white heads of the cast miming, you guessed it, Mmmm, mmm, mmm, hmmm… mmm, mmmm, mmm, hmm, mmmmmm.
The use of the soundtrack was a real highlight – the film filled with 90s gold from the likes of the Beastie Boys lifting those action-packed chases to toe-tapping montages of good fun.
And that’s what Tag is all about, having fun.
Tag isn’t ground breaking, but it’s not complete crap either.
If you go in not expecting much I reckon you’ll have enough fun to warm a winter’s day and leave with a grin with a few remembered gems to giggle over, because sometimes it’s good to never stop playing.
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