Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Wednesday March 25, 2020 


For one month each year, five highly competitive friends hit the ground running in a no-holds barred game of TAG they've been playing since they were at school together. To hold onto their youth and friendship, they risk their necks, their jobs and their relationships to tag each other. This year, the game coincides with the wedding of their only undefeated player (Jeremy Renner). But he knows they're coming - and he's ready.

Review by Louise Keller:
Secrets, lies and a masturbating teddy are some of the ingredients of this crazy, upbeat comedy in which five friends go to outlandish lengths to satisfy their competitive urges. What is real and what is fake is the dilemma as the friends play their annual game of tag in order to stay young and maintain their long friendships. An unlikely premise, you might say, but it is based on a true story, as reported in the Wall Street Journal. TV director Jeff Tomsic takes the material and goes hell-for-leather, delivering a madcap adventure that is a crowd pleaser best served after pizza and beer. It's pretty silly at times but the cast does a fine job to keep the energy high and the laughs coming.

The opening sequence is crucial in that it sets up context and the lengths to which the friends will go to play the game. It also introduces the journalist who tags along and gets the story. Central to the plot is Jerry (Jeremy Renner), who has never been tagged. The fact that he is about to get married means that his tag friends: Hoagie (Ed Helms), Callahan (Jon Hamm), Randy (Jake Johnson) and Sable (Hannibal Buress) believe he will be easy prey. Not so fast. Watching Jerry in full flight with his fitness, speed and dirty tricks quickly allows us to understand why he has so far slipped the net.

Renner is hilarious and looks as though he having a whale of a time. In fact, everyone looks as though they are having fun, including the girls. Isla Fisher is manic as Hoagie's competitive wife, Leslie Bibb plays Jerry's bride and Annabelle Wallis is a pretty distraction as the journalist. And there is Rashida Jones as the flirtatous Cheryl, who always causes tension within the group when she appears.

Whether the game brings out the best or worst in everyone is for you to decide. Don't expect good taste or language; this is raucous fun in which anything goes and the envelope is often pushed a tad too far.

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Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

(US, 2018)

CAST: Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Isla Fisher, Annabelle Wallis, Rachida Jones

PRODUCER: Will Ferrell, Todd Garner, Sean Robins, Mark Steilen

DIRECTOR: Jeff Tomsic

SCRIPT: Rob McKittrick, Mark Steilen (based on Wall Street Journal article)


EDITOR: Josh Crockett

MUSIC: Germaine Franco


RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes



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