BEIRUT: It’s quite evident that comedy films have lost their smarts and have fallen ill to the terrible trend to dumb down situations, over exaggerate characters, and over stuff dialogue with sex jokes, and childish sentence structures.
To say that TAG, the new comedy from Warner Bros., that is based on a true story about a group of friends who played the same game of tag for thirty years, breaks the trend stated above would be a lie.
At its core, the film wanted to state that in this world that is so filled with noise and negativity, adulthood does not have to be so dark.
Yet, the film ends up spending the entirety of its runtime chasing the theme it is trying to promote and failing to catch it, much like the group of friends have been failing to catch the last member of the group since the game began all those years ago.
Aside from being based on true events, the film brings nothing new to the comedy genre.
Sure, it delivers a few laughs, but the feeling is instantaneous; the moment you exit the cinema you recall nothing, feel nothing, and it is quite an unfortunate state to be in after supposedly watching a comedy.
Tackling the positive, TAG does have some funny moments and some heart-felt moments, but it’s the way that they are balanced within the narrative that causes them to lose their value throughout the film.
The narrative repeats, and though the tag sequences get bigger, something about the film doesn’t feel grounded in any form of reality whatsoever, leading to one conclusion – the screenwriters did not tackle the story from a place of honesty, but from a place of commercialism.
A story of this nature dealing with themes of friendship, life, and never losing your inner child should have been handled with more care, and priority should have been given to the tale’s heart rather than its shallow shell.
The cast deliver with whatever they are able to, as to the screenplay really doesn’t ask them to do much, but simply play around like expired frat-boys.
No performance really stands out aside from Hannibal Burress who plays Sable, whose character is actually the most complex, yet not enough to carry the film on his shoulders.
TAG does have an entertaining factor during the chasing sequences in which Jerry, played by Jeremy Renner, defies all odds and escapes.
The visual execution was a mix of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and 300; but, after you see one of the sequences, the rest fall flat and become rather repetitive.
It is rather disappointing when concepts with great potential sell out for pure entertainment and shallow purposes.
TAG had a message that isn’t so bad, and could have been rather relevant; but, rather than focus on the friendship and how life sometimes takes a person away from their friends and how one should make an effort to remain in contact with them, the filmmakers decided to focus on the game.
A long-winded film that is easily forgotten, TAG might offer you temporary euphoria; but, that feeling will fade away along with the end credits.
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