Ricky Stanicky Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

On March 7, the comedy film “Ricky Stanicky” starring Zac Efron and John Cena premiered on Prime Video. After a number of dramatic roles (“Beer with the Flavor of Friendship,” “Iron Claw”), the first returns to the genre of pure comedy, and the second appears before the viewer in images in which you could hardly see him before. In the review below we share our impressions of Peter Farrelly’s new film and tell you what quality of humor awaits the viewer this time.


a few good jokes that will really make you laugh; a good cast, among which, however, only John Cena is trying; vivid stage images of the latter


an unforgivably large number of unnecessary dialogues, characters and scenes that waste the viewer’s time; a lot of dubious humor; Farrelly, it seems, hasn’t finally decided what he wants to get in the end – a creepy vulgarity or a “human” comedy

Ricky Stanicky

Genre Comedy
Director Peter Farrelly
Starring: Zac Efron, John Cena, Jermaine Fowler, Andrew Santino, William H. Macy, Lex Scott Davis
Prime Video Premiere
Year of manufacture 2024
IMDb website

On Halloween 1999, little brats Dan, Wes and JT dress up as Freddy Krueger, Austin Powers and a Dalmatian, probably in reference to the movie 101 Dalmatians, and set out to set a bag of dog poop on fire in front of their neighbor’s door. But the situation gets out of control and the fire spreads to the nearest Halloween scarecrow. In order not to be punished for their behavior, the guys leave a “evidence” with the fictitious name “Ricky Stanicki” inscribed, who must take on the role of scapegoat.

Even today, a couple of decades later, adult friends continue to use this win-win formula for their own benefit. If you want to escape from your wife or girlfriend to a Mark Rebillet concert, Ricky Stanicki is here to help. All the guys’ mortal sins hang on this mythical character, about whom they have heard a lot, but no one has ever seen him. And so, as one famous ex-TV presenter said, this day has come – relatives ask Dan, Wes and JT to finally introduce them to the one about whom there are entire legends.

The unlucky deceivers have no choice but to turn to the alcoholic impersonator Rod, stuffed with steroids, whom they met during one of the parties. He is supposed to play the role of Ricky Stanica, but at some point something goes wrong for the heroes. Over their decades-long career, brothers Peter and Bobby Farrelly have made a ton of comedies of varying degrees of quality and vulgarity, starting with Dumb and Dumber to 30 years ago. Its idiotic sequel of 2014 is the last joint full-length project of the brothers, after which they also crossed paths in the TV series Loudermilk, and then their creative paths diverged.

What’s noteworthy is that during his solo voyage, Peter focused on more serious and dramatic films, releasing the magnificent “Green Book” (2018) and “Beer That Flavors Friendship” (2022), from which Zac Efron migrated to the new film. So now Peter Farrelly is exactly the director whose filmography conveniently accommodates such different and essentially opposite projects as the Oscar-winning “Green Book” and the shameful nonsense “Movie 43” (2013).

With Ricky Stanicki, the director returns to his favorite comedy genre, and this idea looked quite interesting on paper. But, unfortunately, the result leaves much to be desired.

On the one hand, one can see Farrelly’s desire to go all out and, like in the good old days, produce a product pretty stuffed with bad taste and obscenity (you’ve never seen John Cena like this before). On the other hand, it is obvious that the director restrained himself in order to stay within the acceptable level of madness. This uncertainty certainly did not do any good: in the end, neither a noble shameless cringe nor a good comedy with human humor and obligatory morality in a predictable climax turned out.

Some of the jokes really land, and William H. Macy’s character’s public appearances put a genuine smile on your face even after watching it. But such quality moments fade against the background of dubious humor and are lost among unnecessary dialogues and scenes that irritatingly slow down the narrative.

Where it would be worth adding more comedic spice, Farrelly prefers to waste time on meaningless chatter and unnecessary characters that add nothing to this comedy. For example, the presence of the mustache guy from the advertisement is played out very poorly, and the line of the boyfriend of one of the friends is completely out of place. And this is not to mention a plot device of this level: circumcision of a newborn with a cigar guillotine. Now actor, wrestler, former rapper and stern brother of Dominic Toretto, John Cena can safely add this wonderful skill to his resume. Apart from Cena, there is nothing really to say about the performers of other roles. Zac Efron seems to have already grown out of his tight pants role as a handsome loafer in stupid comedies, so, probably due to a lack of interest in the project, he does not show himself in any way. It’s generally difficult to characterize his character’s friends, except that one can note that one of them is red-haired and the other is dark-skinned.

This is not the first time in recent years that the Prime Video service has made an attempt to amuse the viewer after the comedy “The Outsiders.” However, neither Snoop Dogg in a tracksuit ala “The Squid Game” nor John Cena in the image of Alice Cooper become a panacea for absolutely unviable material.


“Ricky Stanicki” doesn’t live up to its potential and, as a result, doesn’t live up to expectations. And although the main characters shift their own blame onto “the friend they never had,” he is perhaps the only one who is not to blame for the failure of the local plan.

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