Nerdlocker Movie Review: TAG


“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?” -Stand By Me (Richard Dreyfuss)

There’s something fun about watching a bunch of adults acting like children. I suppose it makes us miss our own adolescence as we face down bills and jobs and ugh, actual children. I want to act like a child, not have one, just to clarify. (Some say I already act that way) Earlier in the year a comedy came out called Game Night. Appearing to be just another run-of-the-mill comedy waiting to be forgotten turned out to be a genuinely smart, authentically funny film about keeping your inner child alive. It has likeable characters who make honest decisions (for the most part) and have a real comradery with their fellow actors. Along with strong cinematography Game Night was a pleasant surprise.

This is what Tag is for me, a pleasant surprise that could have simply skated by, made its money, and never be heard from again. Instead Tag is a strong, relatable story about holding onto your childhood for fear losing what is fun about life. A game of tag between friends that has lasted for thirty years is an amazing premise and something we all wish we had. More than just a humorous idea it’s a profoundly simple but brilliant way to maintain the relationships most cherished. Tag plays on our desire for the friendships we lost as children. Tag is a more humorous look than films like Stand By Me and The Sandlot at maintaining the friendships that matter the most and doing anything to keep those people in your life.

Tag is what happens when you actually do keep those childhood friends into adulthood. I think one of the greatest parts of this film, a true sign of friendship is their behavior around one another does not change no matter who else may be around. No matter how crazy or filthy these characters are they never change from privacy to the public eye. I think this is one of the greatest traits of a true friendship and this captures it perfectly.

Much like Game Night, Tag has moments of unique cinematography that really grabs the eye and pulls you into the moment. It helps elevate moments of craziness to even higher levels of absurdity. Like most comedies, like most movies really, there are moments that could only happen in a movie. A certain character can pull some stunt and somehow not go to jail, only in a movie. Characters could leave their jobs without notice and expect to still be employed after their adventures, only in a movie. In Tag, a character jumps from a second story staircase and lands awkwardly on the paved cement and gets up like nothing happened, only in a movie. These scenes are not without purpose, they are for entertainment but no matter the ridiculous nature of a scene, films like Tag do it right and maintain the most important aspects of their story. In the case of Tag that aspect is their friendship must always be of importance. It cannot and terrifically does not get lost in the sillier moments that could happen, only in a movie.

This is a film that created an interesting premise and then let its actors take the reigns and turn it into something special. This is a group of actors that are believable as friends and their differences only reinforce this. They are comedic actors, dramatic actors, improv actors and yet when they come together their different backgrounds combine for a kind of comedy that couldn’t be obtained had any other actor taken their place. Tag has a uniqueness to it simply because of who was cast as only they could create what Tag gives us as the audience. You can probably create something similar but ultimately it would feel different and possibly less authentic.

It isn’t groundbreaking by any means but as I said, it could have gone by with its money off into obscurity but instead it’s clear that someone somewhere gave a shit and put some effort into every step of the process. From script to casting to camera shots to just an overall focused effort, Tag is a comedy much like Game Night, a pleasant surprise for the adults out there looking for a good time without those gross children they left at home. 🙂

Rated R For: language throughout, crude sexual content, drug use and brief nudity
Runtime: 100 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Comedy
Starring: Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Isla Fisher, Hannibal Buress
Directed By: Jeff Tomsic

Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 4/ Acting: 3.5/ Directing: 4/ Visuals: 3.5
OVERALL: 4 Nerdskulls

Buy to Own: Yes

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard