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Watch This Review

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Movie Review

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."

Hogan "Hoagie" Malloy is pretty sure it was Benjamin Franklin who came up with that pithy truism. But it doesn't really matter which brainy not-old guy it was. The fact is, that catchy platitude has driven Hoagie and his four closest friends—Bob Callahan, Jerry Pierce, Randy "Chilli" Cilliano and Kevin Sable—to keep playing for decades.

Their game of choice? Tag. Yes, that tag.

Every May for the last 30 years, these guys have taken any and every chance to catch one of their buds unaware, sneaking up when his guard's down, and making that guy it with an unexpected tag. They tagged Sable during his first backseat sexual experience. They tagged Hoagie when he was comforting his wife, Anna, in the throes of childbirth. Funerals, big tests, business meetings, jury trials: You name it, they've tagged during it.

There is one person in their group, though, who's never been tagged. Not a single time in three decades: Jerry. He sports nearly preternatural avoidance skills in these guys' silly touch-and-you're-it contest. Jerry sees all, knows all when it comes to his friends' location and intent. You can never catch him unaware.

It's like a ninja skill.

And on those rare occasions when he is cornered, when it seems that there's no way out of that locked room or this long door-less hallway, he either goes totally feral and physically outmatches his opponents or he somehow slips away, like a monkey on a tightrope.

But that was the past. This year will be different. This year Hoagie has learned that Jerry is getting married … in May. And as the Hoagster visits each of his pals—corporate bigwig Callahan, doped out and unemployed Chilli, perpetually paranoid Sable—he assures them that Jerry will be more vulnerable than ever before.

This will be monumental. This will be epic. This will be the tag of all tags. This year will be … it!

Positive Elements

One thing is certain: These guys really are the best of friends. And in a way, their ongoing game of tag has made that possible: It's lifted them when they're sad, spurred them on when they're tired. And in spite of their many (many) failings, the game has kept them connected. Thus, they each express their appreciation and love for one another—even during their feverish competition.

Spiritual Content

Jerry attends an AA meeting at a local church. The group's leader there talks about being sober for years thanks to help from "a higher power." He also mentions briefly joining Islam.

Sexual Content

Female characters wear revealing outfits, including one woman sporting a dress with a neckline that plunges nearly to her waist. We see a young man and woman making out in the backseat of a car, and she's wearing only a bra.

Jokes fly regularly about male and female genitalia, ranging from crude sexual quips spit out for shock value to discussions of genital size, illicit affairs, masturbation and sexual prowess. A very suggestive scene between a young adolescent boy and girl implies a certain sexual activity, though critical areas are kept just outside the camera's view.

A man's pants are pulled down and his mostly naked backside fills the screen. Hoagie's mother flirts with Chilli, suggesting a physical connection. Hoagie and Anna role-play, kiss and then sneak away to a public restroom for a "quickie" (offscreen). Anna gushes to another woman about her enjoyment of Hoagie's tag trips, saying, "Some couples go on cruises. Some couples go camping. Some couples go to strip clubs and have gang bangs. This is our gang bang."

Hoagie and the guys offer a man some money for information about Jerry's whereabouts. He mistakenly thinks their overtures are sexual in nature, leading to an extended, raw-and-raunchy repartee played for gross-out humor.

At the end of the film, we see video clips of the real guys this story is based upon playing tag. One of them is tagged in the shower, and we see him run out of it, fully naked and visible from the front.

Violent Content

Pratfalling, thumping violence is a constant part of these friends' fast-paced tagging gameplay. Chasers and chasees fall on tables, slam to the floor, crash through doors, careen off walls and thud into moving vehicles. People smash through windows and jump from second- and third-story heights—in one case hitting a vehicle on the way down and ending up prone in a parking lot. During one particularly disastrous leap, Hoagie knocks himself out cold and has to be taken to the hospital.

The guys crash golf carts after a chase on a golf course. Someone gets hit in the chest by a large log tied up by several ropes. People are hit in the crotch. Jerry, especially, often amps up the story's ridiculous shenanigans in painful-looking ways, including one scene in which he punches Hoagie's backside as a boxer would a speedbag.

That pummeling isn't limited to just the guys. Anna is passionate about her husband Hoagie's gameplay. She screams with fiery fury to spur him on and sometimes gets into the mix herself. She's knocked to the floor and given a bloody nose and hit in the chest by a thrown can of beer. She also tackles foes with fists swinging at one point—giving as good as she gets.

Crude or Profane Language

We hear more than 50 f-words and about 20 s-words, along with multiple uses of "a--," "b--ch" and "d--n." Jesus' and God's name are both misused a total of a dozen times, with the latter paired with "d--n" twice. Crude terms are used repeatedly for male and female genitalia.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Chilli regularly smokes marijuana joints and bongs, as well as vaping e-cig devices. Chilli even sleeps with a joint tucked between two fingers. In fact, when we first meet him, he's trading huge bong hits with his nearly incapacitated elderly father. He chases those substances with various alcoholic drinks.

Hoagie smokes some weed, too. But generally, he and the other guys spend a lot of their free time swigging back some type of alcohol. (Beer cans, bottles of booze and shot glasses are a normal part of this crew's scenery.) We find out that similar habits have driven Jerry to seek help for his alcoholism. Many other characters are seen drinking in social settings (a bar, a wedding reception, etc.).

Jerry knocks one of his friends out with chloroform.

Other Negative Elements

Several crude bits of dialogue jokingly reference topics ranging from defecation to cancer. We even hear a string of inappropriate quips about pregnancy and miscarriages. Characters lie and mislead regularly. A black man decries the strangeness of "white people."

Conclusion

This movie is based on a true story.

And a real-world tale of a bunch of guys keeping their friendships close by maintaining an ongoing game of tag for 30 years is, well, at the very least interesting. In fact, if you met these 40-something dudes while they were chasing each other about at the corner market or something, you might even chuckle about how crazy the encounter seemed. I mean, it's not every day that you witness a group of grown men taking a game of tag very seriously.

But watching this story play out over nearly two hours of f-bomb-riddled, joint-puffing, onscreen nonsense isn't interesting. Or chuckle-worthy.

Sure, some people will laugh at parts of this pic, the same way some folks might laugh at that relative who always gets sloppy drunk during the holidays. But, frankly, that doesn't make for a good time. It usually makes for a night you wish you could have avoided.

Same here.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Genre

Comedy

Author

Cast

Ed Helms as Hogan "Hoagie" Malloy; Jon Hamm as Bob Callahan; Jeremy Renner as Jerry Pierce; Jake Johnson as Randy "Chilli" Cilliano; Hannibal Buress as Kevin Sable; Isla Fisher as Anna Malloy; Annabelle Wallis as Rebecca Crosby; Leslie Bibb as Susan Rollins; Rashida Jones as Cheryl Deakins

Director

Jeff Tomsic ( )

Distributor

Warner Bros.

Network

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

In Theaters

June 15, 2018

On Video

August 28, 2018

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Bob Hoose

Content Caution

Kids
Teens
Adults
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