Tag – Renner’s audition tape for Hawkeye. Or Bourne, I always forget he did that.
Tag stars Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, John Hamm, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones and Anabelle Wallis. Its inspired by a story published in the wall street journal about a group of men that have been playing a game of tag every year in the month of May since 1983. Sounds like a heartfelt movie about friendships and grown men with families and responsibilities re discovering their childlike sense of chaos and wonder and reconnecting with each other over the years. Yeah, this is none of that. The movie is just straight up insane. In fact, I dont even remember their character names.
Jeremy Renner plays one of the childhood friends that has never been caught. He is the fastest and strongest in his group of friends. He spends the move jumping all over the place, foiling his friends feeble attempts to get caught and making a fool of them every single time. Ed Helms and John Hamm basically play the same character, except Ed Helms is married to the crazy Isla Fisher with a questionable moral compass. Jake Johnson plays a stoner who serves as a voice of reason. Hannibal Buress plays the same character as Johnson, albeit sober. Anabelle Wallis is introduced as a journalist interviewing, first Hamm about his job, but later the whole group and covering their story about playing tag.
When it comes to writing, this movie is extremely lazy. Wallis’ character is created simply for the audience to act as an in into the group’s background story. Her character has no significance once the plot has been explained to the audience. Which makes no sense since they already have Ed Helms narrating in the beginning. All she does is ask questions to show the audience what is going on. I dont understand why. What is so difficult to understand about a group of grown men playing tag spanning several years. You can explain everything in one sentence. Why is she there? Rashida Jones exists to act as the hot piece of ass who pointlessly leads men on and nothing more. And Isla Fisher. Oh god, her character in the movie is infuriating. They start out as her being stronger than her husband and just the whole group over all. That if she wanted she could floor all of the guys and only doesnt do so cause they are her husband’s friends. No. The longer the movie goes, the crazier she gets. To the point where she suggests torturing someone and happily waterboards the guy. A true representation of bitches be crazy. But surprisingly, she was not the worst female character in the movie. Leslie Bibb plays Renner’s fiance in the movie and she is just straight up nuts. Not only is she cool with the men playing tag the way they do, she encourages her fiance to beat the men, attack them, and torture them into defeat. Spoiler alert I guess, but she does goes so far as to fake a miscarriage to make sure her fiance doesnt lose. You think thats messed up, she faked being pregnant in the first place. I know this isnt the first time a movie has had offensive female characters, but I thought this movie was about friendships and reliving people’s childhood. But no, we get jacked up women who are either useless or all kinds of messed up.
Renner is a guy who doesnt like to lose. He goes through all sorts of antics to make sure he wins. But a group of friends that is so serious about the game, they are all ok with a pity tag in the end. What was the point then? I dont know about white privilege, but this movie is incredibly toxic and psychotic. The novelty of age old friends playing tag dies out in the first 10 minute. You keep hoping it would turn into a shenanigans movie like the hangover or something, but no, it just gets crazier with bigger stunts. The action scenes were ok, Renner definitely worked out for his part. You can tell the crew worked hard for the action set pieces. They also try to make it emotional in the end but it is immediately undercut after. The central conflict in the movie seems to be about people telling the group of friends to move on from playing a silly game and the men refusing to give up. It definitely had a horrible bosses vibe to it. I dont know which came first, but its also similar to game night in parts. However, in its conquest to create crazier and zanier antics, it loses its own story . The movie has no heart.
But it wasnt all terrible surprisingly. I realised then when I switch off my brain, the movie is not entirely terrible. Since the movie seems to have no cap on how far these folks will go for the game, its interesting to see where they will go next. Everything is on the table, so at least it keeps you interested in that sense. The actors, I felt, all did a very good job with the material they were given. Jake Johnson is underrated, even though at its core he sort of just plays some variation of Nick from New Girl everywhere, but it seems to work. Looking forward to seeing him in better live action movies. The rest of the cast was ok, no one stood out to me though. Overall, this one is best enjoyed when you feel like you want to give your brain a break. It does get loud and crazy so dont expect to cozy up to this one on a weekend.
What did you guys think about the movie? Let me know in the comments. Constructive criticism is always welcome.
Until next time.