Jeff Tomsic makes his feature-film directorial debut here utilizing an idea inspired by startling, far-fetched and astonishing real-life events. If you’re hankering for a smooth and perfectly enjoyable comedy with simple humour at heart, look no further.
Tag follows the concept five male friends engaged in a near-lifelong game of tag, four of them attempt to tag the one friend who has never been tagged.
Ed Helms, Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm, and Jake Johnson all have enough chemistry to capture their childhood male bond in a genuine way but the script doesn’t allow much room for the intimate moments to take place. Jeremy Renner is all over the place in this, from his CGI arms to his superhero like reflexes (He could take on Captain America judging by his reflexes). His characters place in the story creates a disconnect from the films message to the group of childhood friends which lessens the impact between them. The comedy works for the most part and it allows for enjoyment to be had in this high-concept story. However, some don’t quite work in the film as some of the jokes are forced — going to lengths such as marriage and cancer gags. The overuse of dick jokes try to capture the comedy that The Hangover is known for but they derive from events that make the jests feel misplaced. The film sets itself up as a comedy early in the film without an emotional hook, this leaves the viewer unimpacted from the ending. Some of the supporting characters only exist as a method for the main characters to explain the backstory to the audience rather than in a more authentic manner.
Some swift editing in sequences with high activity, it’s done in a way that makes it easily accessible to absorb what is happening in that moment. The overall film construction does give scenes too much breathing space at times with a lot of moments feeling repetitive or rather monotonous. Visually has some unique camerawork that most comedies don’t utilize and it creates a better environment for these characters to work, still, most of the camerawork follows your generic R-rated comedies. The score is extremely forgettable and doesn’t help elevate the film or its moments in any way.
All in all, Jeff Tomsic has directed a decent film for his directorial debut and shows some minor potential for the future. Tag succeeds at the basic levels of comedy portraying a high-concept film with no creative vision behind it but delivering on some laughs, some fun and a message that might hit home with some. I thoroughly recommend Tag if you are seeking an easy-going comedy experience. Tag succeeds in encapsulating its chemistry-driven cast and outrageous events that vouch for its primal message, but at the expense of narrative energy, clean dialogue and even humour.