Childhood friends, Hoagie (Ed Helms), Jerry (Jeremy Renner), Bob (John Hamm), Chilli (Jake Johnson) and Sable (Hannibal Burress) have been playing the same game of tag for 30 years. During the month of May they get together to play, focusing their attempts on Jerry, who has never been tagged. When Hoagie discovers that Jerry is getting married and has not invited any of them he decides to get the gang together and crash the wedding as Jerry will be the perfect sitting duck.
That’s about the sum of the plot of this film. There’s a bit of a subplot about a reporter from the Wall Street Journal (Annabelle Wallis) being along for the ride as she’s doing a piece on Bob. The girl (Rashida Jones) that both Bob and Chilli were in love with as kids also resurfaces but it’s not very interesting.
Even though this film is based on a true story, it’s just not very compelling. It is sweet and all that the friends meet up regularly and still enjoy having fun together but the film decides to focus more on mad slapstick, super unrealistic tagging attempts than the emotional heart behind the friendship. There is also a distraction prank by Jerry’s intended wife (Leslie Bibb) that is in such poor taste that it put me off completely.
The most amusing character ends up being Hoagie’s wife, Anna (Isla Fisher) who is sometimes even more into the game than the actual players. In fairness though she is just reprising her Wedding Crashers role. Renner is a great actor but the role of Jerry doesn’t really suit him. He lacks comedic timing and in the end he’s a bit of a fish out of water.
It’s not all bad, there were some laugh out loud moments and Hannibal Burress has a few great lines as the rather scatty, Sable. I really loved seeing the real life players antics’ at the end, although it made me wish they’d just made a documentary about them.
I think this could have been a good film if the tone had been more about the friendship and less about cheap laughs. There’s a great underlying story and a good cast but the whole ends up being less than the sum of its parts. Very skippable.