Tag

Tag

2018, R, 100 min. Directed by Jeff Tomsic. Starring Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Annabelle Wallis, Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher, Leslie Bibb.

REVIEWED By Richard Whittaker, Fri., June 15, 2018

We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. If that quote wasn't so wordy, it could easily be on the poster for Tag, a hilariously silly comedy based on an absurd true story.

In 2013, The Wall Street Journal ran a story about a group of school friends who have been playing the same game of tag for 23 years. Every February, they go to extreme measures to make sure the other guy is it. Tag the movie is just that with an all-star cast.

No one is too far out of their comedic wheelhouse. Helms is Hoagie, the nebbish nice guy, married to the overly competitive Anna (Fisher, continuing her untouchable run of off-kilter love interests); Buress is Sable, a walking inner monologue, deadpanning half-formed but incisive thoughts; Hamm is Bob, the slightly sleazy but charmingly ruffled businessman; and Johnson is Chilli, the lovable burnout. Together, they're fun, but it's when Renner enters the picture as, well, basically Hawkeye (A-ha! So THAT's where he was during Avengers: Infinity War!) that Tag goes berserk to uproarious levels.

After a decade of directing sitcoms, sketch comedy, and stand-up specials, first-time narrative feature director Tomsic appreciates tag the game is rollicking, laughing, running idiocy. So Tag the movie is a kinetic delight, with every game an overblown action sequence. But when Renner's Jerry gets involved, he slows down to bullet time, as he dissects how each of his idiot friends is going to play right into his hands. He so outclasses his buddies that Tomsic can throw in a sequence that is a picture- and note-perfect Predator spoof, and it actually works. He's the grand master, not beyond inviting Chilli and Bob's mutual teen crush Cheryl (Jones) to his wedding to disrupt their plans.

Much of its success depends on Tag, unlike so many recent comedies (looking at you, Life of the Party) not having a mean-spirited word in its entire script. Sure, the guys pull some pretty low tricks on each other, but they are all covered in detail and legal under the games' extensive amended rules. Moreover, even when there's a couple of dirty tricks played, they really don't count because, all the way through, there's a real feeling that they are friends. There's such an easy bonhomie between the core four, with Jerry being just the right amount of outsider, that pantsing and butt-punching or the odd bit of home invasion is perfectly fine.

What's even more charming is that some of the sequences are based on real tags from the actual game. Stick around through the credits to see the actual players, and spot the differences (first, there's actually 10 of them, and second, none of them look like Jeremy Renner). But most importantly, see the similiarity: it's goofy, harmless fun between a bunch of pals that grew up but never grew apart.

Showtimes

Sun., June 17

10:50am, 2:05, 5:15, 7:30, 10:40

Mon., June 18

11:30am, 2:30, 5:25, 8:15, 11:15

Tue., June 19

2:30, 5:25, 8:15, 11:15
AFA 11:30am

Wed., June 20

9:25am, 12:45, 4:00, 6:00, 9:35

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Sun., June 17

10:50am, 2:50, 5:15, 8:10, 10:50

Mon., June 18

10:15am, 2:15, 5:15, 8:05, 10:45

Tue., June 19

2:15, 5:05, 7:45, 10:40
AFA 11:15am

Wed., June 20

11:45am, 2:25, 5:10, 7:20, 11:00

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Sun., June 17

CC/DVS 10:45am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:15, 10:10
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 10:45am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:15

Mon., June 18

CC/DVS 10:45am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:15
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 10:45am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:15

Tue., June 19

CC/DVS 10:45am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:15
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 10:45am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:15

Wed., June 20

CC/DVS 10:45am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:15
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 10:45am, 1:15, 4:15, 7:15

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Sun., June 17

digital 11:45am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45
digital, luxury lounger 11:45am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Mon., June 18

digital 11:45am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45
digital, luxury lounger 11:45am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Tue., June 19

digital 11:45am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45
digital, luxury lounger 11:45am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Wed., June 20

digital 11:45am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45
digital, luxury lounger 11:45am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Sun., June 17

digital 9:10am, 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30
digital, luxury lounger 9:10am, 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30

Mon., June 18

digital 9:10am, 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30
digital, luxury lounger 9:10am, 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30

Tue., June 19

digital 9:10am, 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30
digital, luxury lounger 9:10am, 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30

Wed., June 20

digital 9:10am, 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30
digital, luxury lounger 9:10am, 11:50am, 2:30, 5:10, 7:50, 10:30

Sun., June 17

digital 11:00am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, 9:40
digital, luxury lounger 11:00am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, 9:40

Mon., June 18

digital 11:00am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, 9:40
digital, luxury lounger 11:00am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, 9:40

Tue., June 19

digital 11:00am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, 9:40
digital, luxury lounger 11:00am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, 9:40

Wed., June 20

digital 11:00am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, 9:40
digital, luxury lounger 11:00am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, 9:40

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Sun., June 17

digital 11:15am, 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35
digital, luxury lounger 11:15am, 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35

Mon., June 18

digital 11:15am, 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35
digital, luxury lounger 11:15am, 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35

Tue., June 19

digital 11:15am, 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35
digital, luxury lounger 11:15am, 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35

Wed., June 20

digital 11:15am, 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35
digital, luxury lounger 11:15am, 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35

Thu., June 21

digital 11:15am, 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35
digital, luxury lounger 11:15am, 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sun., June 17

digital 10:10am, 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:10, 10:40
digital, luxury lounger 10:10am, 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:10, 10:40

Mon., June 18

digital 10:10am, 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:10, 10:40
digital, luxury lounger 10:10am, 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:10, 10:40

Tue., June 19

digital 10:10am, 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:10, 10:40
digital, luxury lounger 10:10am, 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:10, 10:40

Wed., June 20

digital 10:10am, 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:10, 10:40
digital, luxury lounger 10:10am, 12:40, 3:10, 5:40, 8:10, 10:40

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Sun., June 17

digital 9:45am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Mon., June 18

digital 10:00am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

Tue., June 19

digital 10:00am, 1:00, 4:00, 7:00, 10:00

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Sun., June 17

2:05, 4:45, 7:25, 10:10

Mon., June 18

11:00am, 2:05, 4:45, 7:25, 10:10

Tue., June 19

2:05, 4:45, 7:25, 10:10

Wed., June 20

11:00am, 2:05, 4:45, 7:25, 10:10

Thu., June 21

11:00am, 2:05, 4:45, 7:25, 10:10

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Sun., June 17

11:15am, 1:55, 4:35, 7:10, 9:40

Mon., June 18

11:15am, 1:55, 4:35, 7:10, 9:40

Tue., June 19

11:15am, 1:55, 4:35, 7:10, 9:40

Wed., June 20

11:15am, 1:55, 4:35, 7:10, 9:40

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Sun., June 17

CC 12:00, 1:30, 4:25, 7:15, 9:30

Mon., June 18

CC 12:00, 1:30, 4:25, 7:15, 9:05, 10:05

Tue., June 19

CC 12:00, 1:30, 4:25, 7:15, 9:00, 10:05

Wed., June 20

CC 12:00, 1:30, 4:25, 7:15, 9:00, 10:05

Thu., June 21

CC 12:00, 1:30, 4:20, 6:30, 11:05

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Sun., June 17

ClosedCapDescListenHINO PASS 12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:15, 9:40

Mon., June 18

ClosedCapDescListenHINO PASS 12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:15, 9:40

Tue., June 19

ClosedCapDescListenHINO PASS 12:20, 2:20, 4:45, 7:15, 9:40

Wed., June 20

ClosedCapDescListenHINO PASS 12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:15, 9:40

Thu., June 21

ClosedCapDescListenHINO PASS 12:00, 2:20, 4:45, 7:15, 9:40

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sun., June 17

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:50, 5:30, 8:00, 10:35

Mon., June 18

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:50, 5:30, 8:00, 10:35

Tue., June 19

CC/DVS 12:20, 2:50, 5:30, 8:00, 10:35

Wed., June 20

CC/DVS 12:20, 2:50, 5:30, 8:00, 10:35

Thu., June 21

CC/DVS 12:05, 2:50, 5:30, 8:00, 10:35

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Sun., June 17

CC 12:00, 2:15, 4:45, 7:30, 10:00

Mon., June 18

CC 12:00, 2:15, 4:45, 7:30, 10:00

Tue., June 19

CC 12:00, 2:15, 4:45, 7:30, 10:00

Wed., June 20

CC 12:00, 2:15, 4:45, 7:30, 10:00

Thu., June 21

CC 12:00, 2:15, 4:45, 7:30, 10:00

iPic Theaters Austin

3225 Amy Donovan Plaza, 512/568-3400, www.ipic.com

Sun., June 17

2:00, 5:00, 8:00, 11:00

Mon., June 18

2:00, 5:00, 8:00, 11:00

Tue., June 19

2:00, 5:00, 8:00, 11:00

Wed., June 20

1:15, 4:30, 7:45, 11:00

Thu., June 21

1:15, 4:30, 7:45, 10:45

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Sun., June 17

CC/DVS 9:30am, 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 9:50
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 9:30am, 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30

Mon., June 18

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30

Tue., June 19

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30

Wed., June 20

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30
CC/DVS, recliners, reserved seating 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sun., June 17

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 8:05, 10:45

Mon., June 18

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 8:05, 10:45

Tue., June 19

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 8:05, 10:45

Wed., June 20

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 8:05, 10:45

Thu., June 21

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 8:05, 10:45

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Sun., June 17

reserved seating 10:45am, 12:40, 1:40, 4:35, 7:30, 10:00, 10:25

Mon., June 18

reserved seating 10:45am, 1:40, 4:35, 7:30, 10:00, 10:25

Tue., June 19

reserved seating 1:40, 4:35, 7:30, 10:00, 10:25

Wed., June 20

reserved seating 10:45am, 1:40, 4:35, 7:30, 10:00, 10:25

Thu., June 21

reserved seating 10:45am, 1:40, 4:35, 7:30, 10:00, 10:25

Moviehouse & Eatery - Lantana Place

7415 Southwest Parkway, Building 7, 512/572-0770, www.themoviehouse.com/lantana/

Sun., June 17

reserved seating 10:30am, 1:15, 4:05, 8:00, 10:20

Mon., June 18

reserved seating 10:30am, 1:15, 4:05, 8:00, 10:45

Tue., June 19

reserved seating 1:15, 4:05, 7:00, 10:00

Wed., June 20

reserved seating 10:30am, 1:15, 4:05, 7:00, 10:20

Thu., June 21

reserved seating 10:30am, 1:15, 4:05, 7:00, 10:20

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Sun., June 17

10:45am, 1:40, 4:30, 7:25, 10:10

Mon., June 18

10:45am, 1:40, 4:30, 7:25, 10:10

Tue., June 19

1:40, 4:30, 7:25, 10:10

Wed., June 20

10:45am, 1:40, 4:30, 7:25, 10:10

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Sun., June 17

11:40am, 2:10, 4:35, 7:05, 10:10

Mon., June 18

11:40am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:05, 9:40

Tue., June 19

11:40am, 2:10, 4:40, 7:05, 9:40

Wed., June 20

12:05, 2:30, 5:10, 7:35, 10:00

Thu., June 21

11:15am, 1:50, 4:20, 7:10, 9:40

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Sun., June 17

12:00, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 10:15

Mon., June 18

12:00, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 9:15

Tue., June 19

12:00, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 9:15

Wed., June 20

12:00, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 9:15

Thu., June 21

12:00, 2:30, 5:05, 7:40, 9:15

Sun., June 17

10:45am, 1:15, 4:55, 6:30, 9:00, 11:30

Mon., June 18

10:50am, 1:20, 4:10, 8:10, 10:45

Tue., June 19

10:50am, 1:20, 4:10, 8:10, 10:45

Wed., June 20

1:30, 4:40, 8:15, 10:45

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Sun., June 17

11:45am, 2:15, 4:50, 7:15, 9:45

Mon., June 18

11:45am, 2:15, 4:50, 7:15, 9:45

Tue., June 19

11:45am, 2:15, 4:50, 7:15, 9:45

Wed., June 20

11:45am, 2:15, 4:50, 7:15, 9:45

Thu., June 21

11:45am, 2:15, 4:50, 7:15, 9:45

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Sun., June 17

CC/DVS 10:15am, 12:45, 3:05, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30

Mon., June 18

CC/DVS 10:15am, 12:45, 3:05, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30

Tue., June 19

CC/DVS 10:25am, 12:45, 3:05, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30

Wed., June 20

CC/DVS 10:25am, 12:45, 3:05, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30

Thu., June 21

CC/DVS 10:15am, 12:45, 3:05, 5:30, 6:50, 9:15

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Ed Helms Films
Chappaquiddick
The car crash that changed America.

Danielle White, April 13, 2018

Father Figures
On a road to nowhere with Ed Helms and Owen Wilson

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 29, 2017

More by Richard Whittaker
Bart Layton on Secrets, Lies, and <i>American Animals</i>
Q&A: Bart Layton on American Animals
How the documentarian turned true crime tropes on their heads

June 14, 2018

Pom Poko
"Lost" Studio Ghibli tale of raccoons in peril gets long-delayed release.

June 15, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Tag, Jeff Tomsic, Ed Helms, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Annabelle Wallis, Rashida Jones, Isla Fisher, Leslie Bibb

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2018

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle