Movie Review: Solid cast saves underwhelming 'Tag'

Movies like “Tag” keep me curious as to why Jon Hamm is not a bigger thing. Sure, he was a massive star during the “Mad Men” television series, but since the end of that show, he hasn’t turned into the movie star that he so clearly has the potential to become. I guess seeing him steal the limelight time after time in key supporting roles will have to do for now. 

Hamm is, as usual, solid and a couple of his co-stars aren’t bad either in “Tag,” but the overall package manages to be a little too wacky in moments and yet not wacky enough when the occasion calls for it. The premise is simple: a group of friends have been playing the same game of tag — yes, that tag — since they were in elementary school, but one member of the group, Jeremy Renner’s (“Hurt Locker,” “Avengers”) Jerry, is planning to retire and ride off into the sunset after he gets married. His buddies, however, won’t let him have his wish, as Jerry is the only one of the five who has never been tagged. So the other four — Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress and Hamm — team up and devise a plot to tag Renner and keep the game alive. 

It’s a premise a little too out-there to believe, but it’s one based on an actual story that went viral a few years ago. Of course, this group of friends is a very different group than the original, which was made up of 10 white dudes from Washington. It’s actually tough to believe any of these guys are actually friends, but I suppose that’s the purpose of the film. There is a through line in all old friendships that keeps people together. For some it’s sports, for others it might be a weird fixation with a school yard game. 

This movie is as much a movie about the inner machinations of the quintet’s friendship as much as it is about the game — sometimes even more. In some cases this works, and in other moments it’s as cheesy as a '90s made-for-TV Disney movie. The good thing? There are some real moments of hilarity between the buddies that help break up its uneven pace and cringe-worthy attempts at romance. Buress (“Neighbors”) is still the funniest dry humor comedian in the world today, and even though Helms is still playing the same character as he did in “The Hangover” — still not sure he has anything else in his tool box besides that — he’s palatable most of the time.

The premise is new, but nothing else is very original. There are some enjoyable moments, but for a movie with the title “Tag,” it was underwhelming to see so few instances of the actual game in play. 




1. “Incredibles 2”: $182,687,905 (opening week); Buena Vista/Disney. 

2. “Ocean’s 8”: $18,968,184 (week 2); Warner Bros. Total gross: $78,588,354.

3. “Tag”: $14,947,396 (opening week); Warner Bros.

4. “Solo: A Star Wars Story”: $15,748,575 (week 3); Buena Vista/Disney. Total gross: $176,700,049.

5. “Deadpool 2: $8,681,501 (week 5); Fox. Total gross: $294,562,309.



“Incredibles 2” — Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.

Director: Brad Bird

Cast: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner

R-P rating: 3/5

“Tag” — A small group of former classmates organize an elaborate, annual game of tag that requires some to travel all over the country.

Director: Jeff Tomsic

Cast: Isla Fisher, Annabelle Wallis, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner

R-P rating: 3/5

“SuperFly” — The movie is a remake of the 1972 blaxploitation film "Super Fly."

Director: Director X.

Cast: Trevor Jackson, Jason Mitchell, Lex Scott Davis, Jennifer Morrison

R-P rating: NA

“Ocean’s 8” — Debbie Ocean gathers an all-female crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City's yearly Met Gala.

Director: Gary Ross

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Mindy Kaling

R-P rating: NA

“Hereditary” — When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter's family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry.

Director: Ari Aster

Cast: Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro

R-P rating: 4/5

“Upgrade” — Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.

Director: Leigh Whannell

Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Richard Anastasios, Rosco Campbell, Richard Cawthorne

R-P rating: 4/5

“Adrift” — Based on the true story of survival, a young couple's chance encounter leads them first to love, and then on the adventure of a lifetime as they face one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history.

Director: Baltasar Kormákur

Cast: Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin, Grace Palmer, Jeffrey Thomas

R-P rating: NA

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” — During an adventure into the criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.

Director: Ron Howard

Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke

R-P rating: 3/5

“Deadpool 2” — Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy with supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling cyborg, Cable.

Director: David Leitch

Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz

R-P rating: 4/5

“Overboard” — A spoiled, wealthy yacht owner is thrown overboard and becomes the target of revenge from his mistreated employee. A remake of the 1987 comedy.

Director: Rob Greenberg

Cast: Anna Faris, Eugenio Derbez, Eva Longoria

R-P rating: 3/5




“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” — When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

Director: J.A. Bayona

Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Jeff Goldblum, Daniella Pineda

“Damsel” — It's the Wild West, circa 1870. Samuel Alabaster, an affluent pioneer, ventures across the American frontier to marry the love of his life, Penelope. As his group traverses the west, the once-simple journey grows treacherous, blurring the lines between hero, villain and damsel.

Directors: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner

Cast: Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska, David Zellner, Nathan Zellner

“The King” — Forty years after the death of Elvis Presley, a musical road trip across America in his 1963 Rolls Royce explores how a country boy lost his authenticity and became a king while his country lost her democracy and became an empire.

Director: Eugene Jarecki

Cast: Alec Baldwin, Tony Brown, James Carville, Chuck D

“Boundaries” — Laura and her son Henry are forced to drive her estranged, pot-dealing, carefree father Jack across country after being kicked out of a nursing home.

Director: Shana Feste

Cast: Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer, Lewis MacDougall, Christopher Lloyd

June 29

“Sicario: Day of the Soldado” — The drug war on the US-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro.

Director: Stefano Sollima

Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan

“Uncle Drew” — After draining his life savings to enter a team in the Rucker Classic street ball tournament in Harlem, Dax (Lil Rel Howery) is dealt a series of unfortunate setbacks, including losing his team to his longtime rival (Nick Kroll). Desperate to win the tournament and the cash prize, Dax stumbles upon the man, the myth, the legend Uncle Drew (NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving) and convinces him to return to the court one more time.

Director: Charles Stone III

Cast: Kyrie Irving, LilRel Howery, Shaquille O'Neal, Chris Webber

“Leave No Trace” — A father and his thirteen year-old daughter are living in an ideal existence in a vast urban park in Portland, Oregon, when a small mistake derails their lives forever.

Director: Debra Granik

Cast: Thomasin McKenzie, Ben Foster, Jeffery Rifflard, Michael Draper


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