"Ricky Stanicky" is not a return to form for one Farrelly brother

Ricky Stanicky (2024)

It seems like only two weeks ago that another duo of filmmaking brothers branched off for one of them to make a solo project. Peter Farrelly may have made two other movies ("Green Book" and "The Greatest Beer Run Ever") without Bobby Farrelly, but "Ricky Stanicky" is clearly supposed to be his own return to the Farrelly Brothers' comedic brand of smartly stupid and sweet. Without a memorable comic gag or an underlying sweetness that actually feels earned, "Ricky Stanicky" is an imbecilic, mean-spirited misfire that almost has the power to make you hate the human race. 

Zac Efron, Andrew Santino, and Jermaine Fowler play Dean, JT, and Wes, childhood best friends who have seemingly never grown up. Whenever they pulled a prank (like lighting shit on fire on someone’s porch), they blamed it on “Ricky Stanicky,” their nonexistent fourth friend whom they make up on the fly. Even 25 years later, as these adult men are in committed relationships and one of them is about to have their first child, they always have an alibi to get out of certain commitments. For instance, JT gets out of his own baby shower and hightails it to Atlantic City because Ricky’s cancer is back and he needs an emergency surgery in Albany. Naturally, as the wives (and a demanding mother-in-law) demand to finally meet Ricky, the trio hires “Rock Hard” Ron (John Cena), an alcoholic actor and one-man musical act of jerk-off jams. Do you think this fraud will become a hanger-on and not leave? 

It’d be one thing if "Ricky Stanicky" was proudly R-rated and funny, but Peter Farrelly seems pretty presumptuous about the latter. It doesn’t help that the screenplay by Jeff Bushell and Brian Jarvis & James Lee Freeman & Peter Farrelly & Pete Jones & Mike Cerrone (that’s six, count ‘em, six writers) has no trouble making Dean, JT, and Wes a trio of frustrating dumbasses. Of course, the characters’ constant refusal to accept any responsibility in their lives has to exist in order to make the premise work, but overlooking that doesn’t make these guys any easier to get on board with. Read the full review at GuyAtTheMovies.com

Grade: D

Amazon MGM released "Ricky Stanicky" (112 min.) on Prime Video on March 7, 2024.