Action Blu-ray Review

‘Tag’ Blu-ray Review: For the Love of the Game

August 28, 2018Ben MK

Of all the movies to be based on a true story, Tag is the one you would least expect. After all, it's about a group of friends who have been playing the same game of tag for 30 years — how could it possibly be anything close to reality?

The year is 1983, and Hoagie, Bob, Chilli, Sable and Jerry are five grade schoolers who have one thing in common — they love playing tag. So they keep playing it, all throughout high school, then college. Fast forward to the present day, and some of them have become veterinarians or the CEOs of Fortune 800 companies, while others are divorced and find comfort in toking up with their dads, or have trust issues for which they have to see a psychiatrist about. But if there's one thing that hasn't changed, it's that they still enjoy playing tag — every year, for the entire month of May — albeit the game has definitely gotten more elaborate.

Suffice to say, director Jeff Tomsic and screenwriters Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen work wonders with the premise. Tag could have easily wound up a pretty generic action-comedy, with flat characters and a paper-thin plot. But instead, we get a film that actually has some heart, while still managing to keep viewers entertained with the increasingly over-the-top shenanigans that these pals are willing to get up to. Throw in some great performances from Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, Jake Johnson, Hannibal Buress, Isla Fisher, Annabelle Wallis, Leslie Bibb and Rashida Jones, and it's safe to say that the cast is one of the best things about the movie.

As for Tag being based on true events, make sure to stick around for the end credits for some home video of the real-life friends playing tag, as well as a clipping of the Wall Street Journal article — "It Takes Planning, Caution to Avoid Being 'It'" — that inspired the film. Because while the footage shows how much the filmmakers have embellished the story, you'd be amazed at just how much of it actually happened.

There's a lot to like about Tag's Blu-ray presentation, beginning with the 1080p picture quality. Colors are vividly saturated, and the image is sharp and nicely detailed, but it's the more action-oriented approach the filmmakers take to the game of tag that helps keep the movie visually appealing. Likewise, the disc's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 sound mix does an adequate job with the standard dialogue-driven elements of this comedy, but it's the sounds of punches, kicks and wild, chaotic chases that will give your surround channels a workout, not to mention the film's song selection, which includes the likes of the Beastie Boys, Pharcyde and Ozzy Osbourne.

Warner's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes a DVD copy of the film and an UltraViolet digital copy, as well as the following Blu-ray extras:

  • Meet the Real Tag Brothers (5:23) - Six of the real friends on which the film is based (Mike Konesky, Christopher Ammann, Richard Bruya, Joseph Tombari, Patrick Schultheis and William Akers) tell their story and talk about the rules of their game.
  • Deleted Scenes (6:20) - Eight scenes ("Tapping Therapy," "Walkie Talkies," "Air Bud is SciFi," "Booth of York/Face Full," "Jerry is a Replicant," "Graduation Flashback," "Golfers Get Hit" and "Bus Stop").
  • Gag Reel (8:05)

Tag is available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as of August 28th, 2018. The Blu-ray features English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 1 hr. 40 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my original review of the theatrical release, published on June 14th, 2018.

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