REVIEW: Tag plays hard, but a bit too morally loose

I’ll say this right out of the gate.

If this movie about a group of  man-children playing a decades-long game of tag wasn’t based on a true story, the concept writer at Warner Bros. would deserve to be canned.

But here we are, with this (mostly) true story, which gained infamy as a story in The Wall Street Journal.

The film, starring Hollywood heavyweights Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Burress and Jon Hamm, succeeds because the film and writers embrace the ludicrous nature of it all.

Like a Road Runner cartoon, our favourite actors slip, slap and trip their way through the picture in Three Stooges fashion, and I have to admit, I laughed pretty damn hard.

The film leans into its premise and goes for broke — though perhaps some of the twists and turns go a bit too far.

The idea that the friends all band together to tag the defending champion Jerry (Jeremy Renner, in his funniest role ever) at his wedding is raucous and awful.

These men, and by extension, their lovers (including the scene-stealing Isla Fisher and Leslie Bibb) will go to any lengths to win the game.

But about three-quarters of the way through, things got a little too dark for my liking, and crossed deeply into bad taste.

The thing about a film like this is it needs to strike and stroke the line between savagely funny and just savage.

While it’s the former for 85 per cent of its running-time, I wouldn’t be surprised if the other 15 per cent ruined it for some of you.

Enjoy the game (and the film) for what it is.

It sure is fun to watch these thespians aim for lowblows and slapstick, but it may also feel exhausting if you’re not ready for the final act.

3.5/5 Stars

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