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  • Hamish Hart

Ricky Stanicky (2024) Review

RATING: 3.5/10

JOHN Cena steals the show in Ricky Stanicky, posing as Zac Efron's imaginary friend in a movie that feels like it was made over a decade late; an apt description considering this below average, overdone comedy has been in production since 2010.

In order to get themselves out of any sort of trouble or inconvenience, three young friends create the fake alias "Ricky Stanicky", an imaginary friend used to take the blame. But after using Ricky as an excuse one too many times, Dean (Zac Efron), JT (Andrew Santino) and Wes (Jermaine Fowler) are forced to hire "professional impersonator" Rod Rimestead (John Cena) to pose as the imaginary Ricky in front of their friends and family.

First announced in 2010, Ricky Stanicky was originally set to star James Franco as the title character, but due to scheduling conflicts, Franco was forced to bail out. The movie went through several actors over the years, including the likes of Joaquin Phoenix, Jim Carrey and Nicholas Cage, before former wrestler and breakout comedy star John Cena was cast. This near 15-year delay in production explains why the film feels like it harkens back to comedies in the early 2010s, especially considering Peter Farrelly, director of Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary, is credited as both director and writer. And unfortunately, unlike these classic comedies, there is very little magic or charm to the actual story itself, only being carried by the performances of its four leading friends.

It's probably for the best that the film was pushed back for as long as it was because it gave us a fresh, absurdly-satisfying performance by John Cena. The character of Ricky Stanicky is one handled with very little subtlety, especially in the first act where we learn about his life as a struggling song parodier, but Cena makes these scenes work in his favour by showing little to no self-respect. And while this is normally a bad thing in the acting world, comedies like Ricky Stanicky require the actors to put their egos aside and commit to their often dim-witted; something Cena has achieved in spades as of late. Zac Efron and his childhood friends also deliver serviceable performances, but when compared to the wrestling icon, their efforts feel wasted and phoned in.

Ricky Stanicky is exactly what you think it's going to be - good for an easy Sunday afternoon watch, but instantly forgettable. Despite somehow being a controversial two-time Oscar winner, Peter Farrelly's latest is just another addition to his long list of bland, uninspired comedies that feel factory made at this point in his 30-year career as a director. In the end, give it a watch if you're a Cena or Efron fan, otherwise, you can make like the title character and pretend Ricky Stanicky never existed.


About Me

Hamish newsheadshot_edited.jpg

Born in Longreach in Central West Queensland, I have undertaken a number of prominent roles across the region such as Journalist and Digital Media for The Longreach Leader, as well as appearing on critically-acclaimed radio stations ABC Western Queensland and 4LG and West FM to discuss all things film.

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