‘By the numbers’ 
humour in ‘The Stag’

Undated Film Still Handout from The Stag. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Arrow Films. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.
Undated Film Still Handout from The Stag. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Arrow Films. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Boys will be buffoons in John Butler’s raucous comedy about male friends who get into scrapes during a stag weekend in rural Ireland.

Gentler than ‘The Hangover’ but peppered with similar moments of outrageous misfortune, ‘The Stag’ chugs along pleasantly and elicits wry smiles as the characters find themselves stark naked in a wood with only makeshift squirrel skin thongs to spare their blushes.

Groom-to-be Fionnan (Hugh O’Conor) is a self-confessed metrosexual, who would rather attend a hen party with his beautiful fiancee Ruth (Amy Huberman) than suffer the horrors of a stag do. At the behest of his bride-to-be, Fionnan allows best man Davin (Andrew Scott) to organise a lads-only weekend. They settle on a camping expedition with good mate Simon (Brian Gleeson) and long-term couple Big Kevin (Andrew Bennett) and Little Kevin (Michael Legge). Fragile bonds of friendship are tested to the limit as Fionnan and co. trek from disaster to despair via a near-death experience with a gun-toting farmer.At 94-minutes, ‘The Stag’ doesn’t outstay its welcome but saying a resounding “I do” to Butler’s uneven film is tricky.