Ricky Stanicky


There was a time when you knew what you were getting with a Peter Farrelly film. Along with his brother Bobby, they brought to the screen the likes of Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, Shallow Hal, and of course There’s Something About Mary.

Recently however, he’s gone a little grown-up, directing 2018’s Oscar-winning Green Book and 2022’s The Greatest Beer Run Ever.

It appears the 67-year-old hasn’t got all that silliness out of system yet however with his latest, which although not classic Farrelly, it could be considered Farrelly adjacent.

boom reviews Ricky Stanicky
Hey guys, it's me, the Peacemaker!

In 1999, three friends went trick-or-treating on Halloween. They decided to play a prank on a house that didn’t give out candy, but it goes horribly wrong. One of them has the genius idea to write a fake name in a jacket they leave behind, so they would be considered the culprit. And it worked, with none of them ever being suspected.

Years later and Dean (Zac Efron), JT (Andrew Santino) and Wes (Jermaine Fowler) still have that name in their lives, Ricky Stanicky, using him as an excuse to get out of any family engagement they would prefer not to attend, and sneak off to Dollywood, and other fun places instead.

It was on one of these trips away, this time to Atlanta City, that they met performer Rod Rimestead (John Cena), who has been making a living, of sorts, out of performing songs with a masturbation theme. He tells them he’s also an actor and hands them his card.

When they return home, they start to get a lot of heat about Ricky, especially how no one else has seen him. It’s at this point they should come clean. But of course they don’t. Instead they double down and drop a dime to Rod and ask if he wants a juicy role, that of Ricky Stanicky, to parade in front of their family and friends, and Rod agrees.

So during a party Ricky makes an appearance, as they finally have the friend they never had, but is it worth the risk?

boom reviews Ricky Stanicky
So did you touch their butts in that wrestling movie?

It’s not long into this daft comedy that you recognise it as a Farrelly film; it’s a film with his formulaic shtick that either tickles your funny bone or it doesn’t. But if it did before, chances are there will be scenes that will again, against your better judgement.

Cena is really growing into a formidable comic talent, having no problem in embracing the ridiculousness of it all. Maybe he’s just decided that The Rock can do all the action stuff, and he’ll happily just play the fool, which he does so well.

Certainly Efron’s contribution makes less sense from a practical point of view, playing a relative straight man in what is a secondary role to Cena’s, but considering his history with Farrelly, starring in his The Greatest Beer Run Ever as he did, it feels more like a favour for a friend than anything else.

And although it has an undeniable Farrelly feel to it, it lacks something; this may well be down to the fact of having six names credited as having written the screenplay, which is never a good sign, meaning the film lacks cohesiveness, giving it an almost sketch quality too it, which is probably what happened with certain writers given certain scenes to write.

It may well be disjointed, but if you’re a fan of Farrelly humour, this comes with almost nostalgic whiffs of comedy greatness past, and is bound to raise a titter or two.

we give this three out of five