Relive the childhood excitement of tag on the big screen with this slightly exaggerated tale.

Anyone looking for a bizarre and funny true story this summer will find “Tag” hiding quietly between the highly anticipated “Incredibles 2” and the John Travolta mobster movie “Gotti”. 

Inspired by true events, “Tag” follows a handful of childhood friends who’ve kept the “You’re it” game alive for three decades. These five adults rekindle their obsession with tag every year during the month of May to see who’ll be “it”. The loser carries that title until the following year, when the intensity resumes May 1 and the guys go back into game mode.

Ed Helms, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner headline a star-studded cast of jokesters. It’s Renner, as the undefeated Jerry Pierce, who is the main catalyst driving the film’s comical banter and eye-raising stunts. With a spotless tag record for over 30 years, Renner decides to retire and go out on top of his game. 

Despite its strong allure, “Tag” isn’t as much about winning as it is about friendship and male bonding. To see these guys, interacting as brothers—all willing to drop what they’re doing in “real life” to facilitate this time-honored tradition—is fascinating to watch unfold (and even hilarious at times). Viewers can’t sit and not wonder what creative liberties may have been taken by the filmmakers to possibly embellish the group’s scheming tactics of play. Those runaway thoughts are completely dismissed by the film’s last scene and the credits roll.

In today’s crazy, sick world of youths eating bath salts and taking “Tide Pod Challenges,” this harmless child’s play is most welcome. To see the extent and determination of these five friends—and how they were able to ensure their game withstood the test of time—is truly remarkable. Is “Tag” the funniest film of 2018? No. But, it is enjoyable, funny, and worth seeing at some point. 

Grade: B

Patrick King is a resident of Tucson and writer for the Reel Brief movie blog at reelbrief.com.  Email him at reelbriefmoviereviews@mail.com

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