Rating (2.5 out of 5)
Summary: Tag fails to generate any laugh out loud moments, at most generating a small number of smirks. A great premise turns into a gimmick. The movie lacks a compelling story and characters but instead relies solely on the game of tag. Lazy and poor script management, dampen any fun “Tag” had to offer.
Plot: Elementary school friends continue to play the childhood game as adults. Jerry (Jeremy Renner) has never been tagged, and his friends are determined to lay a hand on him this year.
Detail: The movie had all the base elements for a successful comedy; a fun premise and great cast. The movie lacked a charismatic hero or character for the audience to associate. As I think about other comedies, they have significant character development within the overall arching goal. Take “Date Night” as an example, it wasn’t just winning the game but besting his brother, and ultimately deciding what he wanted from life.
For example, the movie leads off with Bob (Jon Hamm) being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, and you assume the story will center on him. But then, Hoagie (Ed Helms) appears to be the central character, but still, the story doesn’t focus on him. Without the lead and a core objective, the story meanders.
The WSJ reporter, Rebecca (Annabelle Wallis) follows them on their game of tag. Rebecca doesn’t add any value and you realize she is a useless character. Both the scriptwriter and director should have made the decision to eliminate the character or enhance her role.
Finally, a girl from their childhood Cheryl (Rashida Jones) appears in a bar, and apparently a love interest of Bob and Chilli (Jake Johnson). The addition of Cheryl didn’t really add to the story development of any of the development of the main characters, and again was another unremarkable and forgettable role.
When they actually played tag, and Jerry would see what they were planning, the movie was really good. It was those few moments that were enjoyable.