Tag is probably one of the few comedy movies, this year anyway, which isn’t just about the jokes but also about the genuine friendship between its leads.
|Screenplay By||Mark Steilen, Rob McKittrick|
|Good If You Like||Movies Inspired By True Stories
Comedies With Simple Concepts
Some Action In Your Comedies
Mean Spirited Jokes and Situations
Movies Which Feature Childhood Friends All Grown Up
For 30 years, since 1983, Randy aka Chilli, Jerry, Bob, Kevin, and Hogan have played tag. As adults, it takes place for the entire month of May and it’s intense. I’m talking tagging during serious moments (funerals, kids being born, and fake-outs), getting their wives involved, and them really going all out. Something we even see in a little montage at the end of the film to show that the only difference between the inspirations and the movie, is probably less male nudity.
But, coming on that 30-year mark, there comes the question of whether Jerry may retire? Without being tagged, might I add. For, at this point, he is getting married, the game is really the only reason they interact with him, and he takes things to an extreme. And you know, with the game beginning when they were around 9, even if Jerry is physically fit, he can’t be 40 or 50+ and jumping out of windows, flipping his friends, and keeping up this Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes stuff forever. It’s better to retire on top.
So, with that announcement, Hogan tries to pool the guys to take down Jerry before it is too late.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- So did [tooltips keyword=’Hogan’ content = ‘Have cancer for real?’]
- How did Randy get his nickname?
It’s Not All About The Comedy, But Also About Genuine Friendship
To be frank, this isn’t a hilarious movie. It has 8 truly laugh out loud moments, but that’s from the high points of Jerry dodging being tagged – mostly. Outside of that, what makes you love this movie is there is what seems to be a real friendship behind all this. You get the sense that, outside of Jerry, these people know each other, see each other throughout the year, know what is going on and it’s only in May they act like they lost their damn minds.
Which isn’t something you can say about a lot of action comedies. For most, even the films that the queen of the genre, Melissa McCarthy, does, don’t really make it where you can say nearly every character is important. Even if not to the biggest name or who has the most memorable role, they are important to someone.
Like, take for example Isla Fisher who plays Hogan’s wife. Now, she isn’t allowed to play because, at 9, they decided no girls were allowed. However, the way she supports Hogan and the boys, she isn’t there to just be proof that Hogan is more than this guy obsessed with tag. Much less make him seem attractive. For, in a very over the top way, she is probably into the game as much as Jerry. It is just, since she can’t tag in, she isn’t planning traps, mind games, and training for this every year like a marathon.
But, despite not being able to play, she is part of the team and her bond to Hogan, Hogan’s bond to the group, Bob and Randy sharing a crush on Cheryl connects them, and then there is Kevin who is… well, I guess every group of white guys needs the odd Black friend.
The Moments When They Took It Too Far
One of the things which Jerry says is why he is so good is because everyone else still plays the game like kids, Jerry takes things to the next level. I won’t ruin a major moment, but I will say Jerry likes to antagonize as much as he enjoys them trying to tag them. One example being, threatening Hogan’s childhood toy with the possibility of ejaculating on it. That was messed up but oh, please believe me when I say that is just a taste of [tooltips keyword=’ what Jerry is capable of ‘ content = ‘Like having his wife fake a miscarriage to help him get out of a trap.’].
And just the movie going the places it does, it makes you hope if this movie gets a sequel, it means everyone upping their game to Jerry’s level. Yeah, I said it, this is one of the few movies you may see where the idea of a sequel wouldn’t necessarily be horrible.
Hannibal Buress Seemingly Is A Token
Taking note of the guys who this is inspired by, they didn’t have a non-white friend. They are all white and so Buress is a token. I mean, they don’t even give him a love interest – not even a crush. Also, there aren’t any major Hispanic/Latinx roles, I don’t know if I saw a single Asian person, and women of color? All we get is a few extras and Rashida Jones as the crush Bob and Randy pine over. Making Hannibal’s Kevin just this Black dude who seemingly stalks some woman, says random things, provides a little bit of insight to Rebecca, for her article, and often is like a talking ghost who follows these guys because they’re entertaining.
On The Fence
You remember Wedding Crashers? Do you remember how Fisher was in that movie? I want you to think of the character as being less funny, but more offputting and you get Anna Malloy. However, what makes her not get labeled as a token is because other women are in the movie, and while Cheryl mostly operates strictly as a love interest, the other women don’t. Anna, as noted, is probably on Jerry’s level of crazy when it comes to the game. Also, Jerry’s wife, it is clear as we see her freak out over the wedding, she is probably able to go as far as he is willing to go.
So while women may not play a major role, they are by no means on Kevin’s level of seemingly being included just so articles aren’t written about lack of diversity.
Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)
The only thing that could bother a person is how Buress strongly feels part of the cast just so there is a lead who isn’t white. Especially since, outside of Cheryl, he is the only person of color really given a consistent presence, and lines in the movie.
But, outside of that, what this film brings is the vibe that sometimes comedy films shouldn’t be just about competing for who can get the bigger laugh. Sometimes it is about finding the funny in established relationships. Be it reminiscing about a time when Bob crapped in his pants, Hogan and Anna arguing, between Bob and Randy, who should be with Cheryl, or the lengths each are willing to go to win a game.
It’s because of the friendship, and sometimes the game, being the focus more than comedic moments which leads to the positive label. For while you may walk in looking forward to an action comedy, what you leave with is one of the few films like it that leads you to believe, this could make one good sequel. Especially considering something [tooltips keyword=’ said and rules changed at the end of the movie ‘ content = ‘That is, that girls can now be part of the game. Meaning, the wives can play. Also, it seems Hogan may legitimately have a form of cancer that gives him a year to live.’]. For it opens up doors for one hell of a follow-up.