Jeremy Renner and John Hamm are still playing Tag in a movie that meets lowered expectations. (Warner Bros image)

Reel Reviews: Playing Tag with the Incredibles

The conclusion: “Both these movies are exactly what you’d expect.”

Tag is a comedy about the true story of a group of men who have been playing a month long game of tag since they were kids. Long-time hold out Jerry, who has never been tagged, is getting married. They decide to have one last, great game, but Jerry (Jeremy Renner) knew they would be coming for his title and he’s ready for them.

The Incredibles 2 is a long overdue sequel to the Disney/Pixar animated hit film from 2004. Our superhero family is back, living ordinary super-lives and saving the world. Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) is out in the spotlight while Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) is a stay at home dad, trying to figure out new baby Jack Jack’s super powers. When a new villain hatches an evil plan, the whole family will have to team up with Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) to save the day.

The conclusion: “Both these movies are exactly what you’d expect.”

Tag is meant to be a comedy and a true story. Well, it’s true that a group of 10 friends did play a month long, elaborate game of tag every year. At the end of the movie when we see some home video footage of the true players, playing their game, they did at least wear disguises and costumes. Perhaps in reality there would have been a bit less of the things that the actors in Tag portray, namely the things that are supposed to be considered funny.

All the players of the game are male: Ed Helms, Hannibal Buress, John Hamm, to name three, but there are also Isla Fischer, Nora Dunn, Leslie Bibb and Rashida Jones involved as well. There’s a pretty good mix of the sexes in this silly and simultaneously forgettable film and a lot of big name cameos. I love the idea of the game, making plans to tag your friend in Seattle, hop on a plane and leave before he can tag you back, those kinds of things are funny. This movie could have been a laugh riot. Unfortunately, Tag seems to have just suggested the game and rather than come up with long list of funny taggings, they came up with a longer list of rude comments and physical pain.

Tag isn’t a stupid film, it tries to have a heart, yet it is with this heart that it dies. At first, Tag asks its audience to accept that these guys really played this game, this way, acting silly and immature. After the audience agrees, mostly because Hannibal Burress is funny while Helms and Hamm are merely likeable, we are then asked if we would mind sympathizing with these characters. It seems the things that matter most are the coming together of old friends, the honest expressions of feelings, etcetera. I smiled twice, other people in the nearly empty cinema laughed where I smiled. I waited for the film to save itself, which it did not. Get funnier writers and/or actors next time, Warner Brothers.

The most interesting thing about this film is that Renner broke both arms doing a stunt on a stack of chairs. He had to finish the film with broken arms, see if you can spot those scenes. Sorry, that’s hardly a good reason to pay to see Tag.

The Incredibles 2 doesn’t need a review, of course it’s excellent. Just see it.

Tag gets 2 arm casts out of 5.

The Incredibles 2 gets 5 laser babies out of 5.

— Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are film reviewers based in Vernon.


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