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Tag (2018)

Directed by Jeff Tomsic

Based on the Wall Street Journal article “It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being Hit” by Russell Adams

Story by Mark Steilen

Screenplay by Rob McKittrick, Mark Steilen

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Jon Hamm, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, LilRel Howery, Annabelle Wallis, Isla Fisher, Rashida Jones, Leslie Bibb

Based on a true story, this film was adapted from the WSJ article “It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being Hit” by Russell Adams. The story was crafted by Mark Steilen (The Settlement) and he worked with Rob McKittrick (Waiting…) to write the script. Directing his first feature film was Jeff Tomsic. The stars include Jeremy Renner (Arrival), Ed Helms (Chappaquiddick), Jon Hamm (Baby Driver), Jake Johnson (Jurassic World), and LilRel Howery (Get Out). Annabelle Wallis (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), Isla Fisher (Nocturnal Animals), Rashida Jones (Inside Out), and Leslie Bibb (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) also star in this one.This is the kind of comedy you expect to see when summer comes along. This one was directed by Jeff Tomsic, using the script from Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen. In an interesting twist, this one is based on a true story, documented in a Wall Street Journal article written by Russell Adams. This is a really unique premise that opens up a number of possibilities. Luckily, the writers showed a lot of restraint in crafting the script for this film. None of the running jokes feels overused and there is a good mix of physical comedy and witty dialogue to help it balance out. The story also has great dialogue that doesn’t always take the obvious route to the punch lines. Each of the characters also has unique characteristics that help fill this one in. This script also tends to lean away from cheap laughs and bathroom humor. The restraint in the writing really helps this one avoid feeling like a knockoff “boys will be boys” film. Instead, this one actually has a little bit of heart and tells a good story. This is a bit predictable at times, but the bigger arc has some good twists. It’s irreverent at times, and there are a lot of laughs throughout. The cast must’ve had a ton of fun making this movie. (Except maybe Jeremy Renner, who broke both of his arms during filming. Even then, it must’ve been a little fun.) Their performances bring together a group of unique characters that all have distinct voices in the film. Their chemistry and ability to work off of one another adds a level of authenticity to the premise. (When the story calls for people to be lifelong friends you really need that level of connection.) In a film like this it’s hard to say that there’s a starring role. This time around the ensemble wins over the individual. The cast does great work with the physical comedy as well as the humor built into the dialogue and situations. Throughout the movie the acting does everything an audience could hope for.This film is mainly a run-of-the-mill comedy from a visual standpoint. The addition of some great action-comedy sequences is where it becomes something more. The sequences are complex enough for a serious action movie, but crafted to be hilarious and jaw-dropping at times. The movie has great pacing that never slows down, and the music adds a nice touch to the overall experience. This is the kind of movie that fans of the stars need to check out. I would also suggest this one to fans of movies like The Hangover. The story is funny, irreverent, and wild. It’s not going to win awards, but it’ll give you enough laughs to make it worth the price of admission. I give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Rating: R

Running Time: 100 Minutes

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