First the characters—Ed Helmes plays his usual character from The Office, Jon Hamm is *wait for it* a handsome businessman climbing the corporate ladder (he’s the love child of his Mad Men and 30 Rock self), Jeremy Renner does whatever he pleases (not Hawkeye, but a non-superhero pretending to be Hawkeye), Nick Miller (what’s the actor’s name?) smokes some weed, and Hannibal Burress--sweet, sweet Hannibal--does his usual job of saving an unfunny/poorly written moment from total disaster.
Though unsurprising, there is some allure to how typecast this movie is—rather than being a factual documentary, Tag goes for a fun retelling of a group of people's real lives through a raunchy, exaggerated, cinematic lens. If you’re looking for deep characterization, go home, but I have a feeling the real guys of the story have enjoyed seeing their favorite celebrities play them on the big screen, and that made me enjoy it, too.
The first part of the movie rests (too?) heavily on the premise of the movie—grown men playing tag. We get so much time yet so little depth of their backstories and reunion. Off to a slow start, Tag picks up the pace with some action sequences as the game actually gets rolling. Jeremy Renner jumps off of some buildings and Jake Johnson uses marijuana. The action turns to sentiment as they tag around their hometown, remembering memories and stuff.
In all, the sentimental payoff might not cut it, but there’s a handful of solid laughs that made it worth the watch for me. They won’t let you forget that it’s based off of real people, but I guess that’s part of its charm. It’s almost as if the movie was made specifically for the original group, and we just happen to have stumbled upon it.
If anything, see it for a special surprise scene from Thomas Middleditch. He redeemed even the wimpiest writing (including a lazy scene with a head janitor that relied a bit too much on black comedic stereotypes) and the flattest of deliveries (including every line poor Lou the bartender gives us and every scream Isla Fisher lets out).
Perhaps Tag is a “wannabe” movie, with all the elements of a 21 Jumpstreet (Channing Tatum version) without the total follow through, but give it a chance and let out some laughs anyways.