Film Review: Tag – 7.5/10

‘We grow old because we stop playing…’

As someone who has devoted his life to the concept of arrested development, the thought of a film about a group of friends being obsessed with a game from their childhood was always going to be hard for a huge man baby such as myself to resist. As I have been friends with the same group of losers since childhood, I know a thing or two about being unable to move on. Whenever I get together with my school friends, it only takes a minute or two before we slip back into the same old routines, same old group dynamics and same old weird private jokes. Tag embraces eternal childhood in a way that is sweet, innovative and frequently hilarious…

Hoagie (Ed Helms), Chili (Jake Johnson), Bob (Jon Hamm) and Sable (Hannibal Buress) have spent forty years playing the same game of tag. Jerry (Jeremy Renner) is the fifth member of this dubious collective and what sets him apart is that he has never been tagged. When Hoagie gets wind of Jerry’s impending wedding, he enlists the help of the others, as well as his wife Anna (Isla Fisher), and the group set about finally tagging Jerry.

Based on a Wall Street Journal article about a real group of friends embroiled in a 28-year game of tag, Jeff Tomsic’s film is all heart whilst never tipping over into unearned sentimentality and never forgetting to provide the laughs. The cast are having an absolute blast throughout and everyone shows up with Fisher and Buress often delivering the best and funniest lines – of which there are many.

This is a silly film with a serious message. Value your friendships. You never know when they might end. I laughed all the way through. I had a huge smile on my face as the credits rolled. The kind of inconsequential but essential comedy that we need now more than ever. Just loads of fun.