SYNOPSIS: When three childhood best friends pull a prank gone wrong, they invent the imaginary Ricky Stanicky to get them out of trouble! Twenty years after creating this ‘friend,’ Dean, JT, and Wes (Zac Efron, Andrew Santino, and Jermaine Fowler) still use the nonexistent Ricky as a handy alibi for their immature behavior. When their spouses and partners get suspicious and demand to finally meet the fabled Mr. Stanicky, the guilty trio decide to hire washed-up actor and raunchy celebrity impersonator "Rock Hard" Rod (John Cena) to bring him to life. But when Rod takes his role of a lifetime too far, they begin to wish they’d never invented Ricky in the first place. 


After watching a whole hour of Ricky Stanicky, there’s hardly a chuckle to be found. Hardly. Considering the whole fiasco lasts almost two hours.

Three lifelong friends, Dean (Zac Efron), JT (Andrew Santino) and Wes (Jermaine Fowler) figures out that the only way to get out of trouble in life is to blame everything on their “fictional” friend, Ricky Stanicky. They even came up with a bible to keep track of Ricky’s antics over the decades.

The fake friend gag actually works until it don’t when a party to Atlantic City backfires and the three friends have to hire a down-and-out, “X-rated” impersonator, Rod (John Cena) to stand-in as Ricky Stanicky to convince their friends and family members at the celebration of the bris for JT’s newborn.

After winning an Oscar for Green Book, Peter Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Dumb And Dumber) returns to his roots of making yet another gross out comedy. Together with at least five other screenwriters, Farrelly crafted a largely foul-mouthed, juvenile comedy that never brings in the messages and laughs in the end.

There’s shades of Dean’s character being a victim of family abuse in the past and never quite commit to having children with his future wife, Erin (Lex Scott Davis). And Wes being all gay and lacking a direction in life. It’s all for show than tell and Ricky Stanicky is often seen stuck in a rut that the narrative basically has no meaningful way to go forward except waiting for the next punchline or gag.

Zac Efron has come a long way and he deserved better material than playing a boring white guy. Fortunately, John Cena is here to save the day and giving his all by playing a man who makes a living singing cringing masturbation songs and finally sees the value in himself after being hired for the gig by the three friends. He is definitely the next best thing coming out of WWE after Dwyane Johnson.

The movie pretty much has only two major laugh-out-loud gags in the vein of past Farrelly brothers’ helmed comedies which is the rabbi handling of the circumcision of JT’s baby and the boss of Dean and JT, Ted (William H. Macy) and his “air-dicking” hand movements.

However, the ending truly is a good example of how misguiding Hollywood movies can be. Ricky Stanicky reminds one of the R-rated, bros comedies that Apatow and Seth Rogen did in the past except it’s less funny. Despite that, Cena’s dedicated performance is the sole aspect that stood out.


Review by Linus Tee



Genre: Comedy
Zac Efron, Andrew Santino, Jermaine Fowler, John Cena, William H. Macy, Lex Scott Davis, Anja Savcic, Daniel Monks
Director: Peter Farrelly
Rating: NC16
Year Made: 2023



Languages: English
Subtitles: English
Running Time: 1 hr 54 mins