Ricky Stanicky (2024)

by | Mar 21, 2024 | Movie Reviews, New On Streaming/Digital | 0 comments

Ricky Stanicky is a fantastically funny film that greatly benefits from unpredictably absurd and all-time comedic performance by a John Cena in top form. Reminiscent of early-to-mid 2000’s comedy films, director Peter Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, Green Booktaps into a time where mid-budget comedies were King and were constantly being churned out. The stories might not have been the most intricate, but there was something relieving and enjoyable about watching silly people do stupid stuff for 90 minutes. Based on the advertisements I took Ricky Stanicky to be some wannabe “throwback” that thought it was funnier and raunchier than it really was and for that reason had avoided it. Fortunately, I listened to a film friend who took a chance on it and I’m so thankful that I did because I hadn’t laughed like that during a movie in a while!

Ricky Stanicky

Dean (Zac Efron), Wes (Jermaine Fowler), and JT (Andrew Santino) have been best friends since childhood and have spent decades telling lies about a fictitious friend named Ricky Stanicky. Anytime something would happen that would normally get the boys in trouble they always passed off the blame to the imaginary Ricky Stanicky. As grown adults they continue to use the lie to avoid marital duties and take bro-time whenever something fun arises. When the men find themselves in-too-deep with the lie, they’re forced to recruit a drunken casino performer named Rod (John Cena) to play the part of their imaginary friend. Who’s gonna know?

This film caught me by complete surprise with how much fun I had with it and how little wrong there is with it. For a story that’s been in development for over a decade with numerous writers attached to it, Ricky Stanicky feels incredibly fresh for all the throwback elements it encompasses. The film largely rests on the massive shoulders of John Cena who more than commits to the bit and completely steals the show with a dominating comedic presence. We all might think it impossible to forget about Zac Efron while we’re watching him, but Cena owns every moment of the film he’s in and turns a funny premise into something that also works on a somewhat serious level. From precise line readings of obscure dialogue to the willingness to go all-out with his physical performance, there are no shortage of sensational moments and songs that cement this as Cena’s funniest role to date.

Ricky Stanicky executes it’s ridiculous lie with a whole lot of laughter and a genuinely great time. Part of me feels like it’s a shame the film is only on streaming, as it’s exactly the kind that would do well on good word-of-mouth and as counterprogramming to all of the blockbusters. The pair of Efron and Santino are an especially humorous second fiddle to Cena’s Stanicky, however when William H. Macy arrives in the film he gives everyone a run for their money as he goes after the audience’s laughter just as full-throttle as Cena. If you were remotely hesitant about this film like I was, please take a chance on it because I believe it’ll play well against people’s expectations and will keep you constantly laughing as it did with me!

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