Tag (2018) a (moderately) belated review

What a strange, strange movie this is.

Released in 2018, Tag is a generally (I’ll explain in a moment) lighthearted comedy involving a group of grown up childhood friends who engage in a silly game of tag each year. The last one that’s “it” when the game officially ends is, not the loser (as one character notes), but not the winner either. Here’s the trailer:

The movie’s very large, intriguing cast includes Ed Helms as Hogan Malloy, the man who instigates this year’s game. Jon Hamm is Bob Callahan, a successful businessman who is the first to get “tagged” while in a meeting with Rebecca Crosby (Annabelle Wallis) who works for the Wall Street Journal and takes an interest in this yearly event.

In quick succession we meet Malloy’s wacky wife Anna (Isla Fisher, a hilarious standout in this crowded field), his stoner friend Randy (Jake Johnson), and their African American friend Reggie (Lil Rel Howery).

Unlike other years, this year’s game of tag is focused on finally tagging Jerry (Jeremy Renner) the final member of their gang and the most elusive of the friends. He has not been tagged in some 30 years (if I remember correctly) and is a virtual escape artist when it comes to the game.

Despite years of futility, Hogan is convinced this year they can finally tag Jerry because this year, their prey is locked down: He is about to be married and his location is restricted due to this.

After a first futile attempt to tag their friend, ground rules are laid out: The friends can tag Jerry but not during the wedding or formal rehearsal.

Let the games begin!

As I said, Tag is, for the most part, a goofy and at times very funny comedy. However, there is a darker edge to it and I can’t help but wonder if maybe the script was originally much, much darker than what we see on screen.

Based on some of the happenings which occur later in the film, I can’t help but wonder if the original script started very light-hearted and then gradually took a deeper, darker turn until reaching its finale, which was heart-felt and nice, given some of the revelations.

I’ll spoil no more!

In the end, Tag was a pleasant, if not terribly memorable, film. There wasn’t anything to totally turn me off about the film or anything so stupid that it made me want to get up and leave. Having said that, neither was there anything that screamed “classic” to me. Tag is a good, if not “great” comedy and I suspect anyone who takes the time to watch it won’t feel they have wasted their time, if not much more than that.

I know, I know, a very mild recommendation coming from me but there you have it.

Tag is what it is and you could do much worse than check it out on a rainy day.