Ricky Stanicky | Review by: Benjamin Garrett

 Peter and Bobby Farrelly are responsible for a handful of truly iconic comedies of the ‘90s and early 2000s. They weren’t all critically acclaimed, but their cult status is undeniable. If Ricky Stanicky had come out in the height of their careers, I firmly believe it would have joined those ranks. 

Now, the reason I say that is because this movie has been in the works for over 15 years. By passing through so many writers, producers and potential stars, it often feels like a product of a different time, but still functions decently as a modern film. Honestly, it’s kind of a miracle that it works as well as it does, given the decade and a half long road to its eventual release. Sure, some jokes are dated and the structure occasionally feels overly familiar, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a fun time with it. 

That’s largely to do with Cena’s committed performance as the man himself - Ricky Stanicky. After two comedy duds last year with Vacation Friends 2 and Freelance, Cena is back in a role that showcases his impressive comedic chops. If you give this man good material, he’ll run with it. What I love about him compared to other wrestlers turned actors, is that he isn’t afraid of damaging his ego or image. Hell, we get to see him here dressed in Britney Spears’ iconic school girl outfit slurping spilled booze off the ground in an alleyway. Yeah, he goes for broke and it pays off big time. I really enjoyed William H Macy as the no nonsense CEO of an investment firm, and he played off the rest of the cast really well. Zac Efron, Andrew Santino and Jermaine Fowler complete this solid ensemble, but this is the most definitely the Cena show. 

You can tell Peter Farrelly has plenty of experience in the comedy genre, but he also brings just a hint of the maturity we got from him with Green Book. The comedy and drama don’t always blend when going from one extreme to the other, but I found the serious moments added a nice touch of depth to the characters and their development throughout the story. The fear and paranoia of being caught in a snowballing lie works well, adding a sense of stakes to a silly premise. I don’t know if the nearly two hour runtime is entirely justified, or if the R-rating was pushed as far as it could’ve been, but I was consistently entertained and frequently laughing. 

Being stuck in development limbo for 15 years makes Ricky Stanicky feel like a product of its time, but it still works well today. Thanks to John Cena’s hilarious, dedicated performance, this is an easy recommendation if you’re looking for a good laugh. 


Review by: Benjamin Garrett

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