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来源:眼花耳熱網编辑:娛樂时间:2024-07-15 15:53:46

When Ricky Stanicky hits you with an opening joke about a dog boner, you know you're in for something dumber than dumb. Whether it's the fun kind of dumb — think Stepbrothersor The Hangover — or the excruciating kind — think, recently, of Argylle— all hangs in the balance of what comes next.

Unfortunately, what comes next in Ricky Stanicky is a painfully unfunny barrage of bits scraped from the underside of the bro comedy barrel. Poop, circumcisions, ill-timed K-holes, masturbation — all lowbrow joke elements that could be funny given the proper context and set-up, yet all of which crash and burn in this lifeless nightmare. The only saving grace is a deeply committed John Cena, but not even he can wring consistent enjoyment from this lackluster material.

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What's Ricky Stanicky about?

Three men raise a toast at a bar.Jermaine Fowler, Zac Efron, and Andrew Santino in "Ricky Stanicky."Credit: Ben King / Prime

Ricky Stanicky revolves around a trio of lifelong besties — Dean (Zac Efron), JT (Andrew Santino), and Wes (Jermaine Fowler) — who concoct a fake fourth best friend who can take the blame for all their bad behavior. His name? Ricky Stanicky.

As years go by, Ricky Stanicky evolves from prank fall guy into a surefire excuse for these three to get out of obligations they'd rather not attend. In fact, their scheming gets to the point that they end up putting more work into the lie than into possibly anything else in their lives. They build an elaborate Bible to keep their Stanicky lore straight. They set up fake social media accounts. They have a burner phone just for Stanicky. The whole thing feels like the most unhinged story you could find on the Am I the Asshole? subreddit. "AITA for making up a fake friend, maintaining that lie for decades, then using that fake friend's fake cancer as an excuse to miss my own baby shower?"

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That's the plot point that sets all of Ricky Stanicky in motion, by the way. JT skips out on his own baby shower to go to Atlantic City with Dean and Wes for a DJ set, claiming that Ricky's (made-up) cancer has returned. But when JT's baby is born while he's out of town and no one is able to reach him, his family wants answers on what the real deal with Ricky is. Does our trio come clean and hope for forgiveness? Nope. They dig in and hire Rock Hard Rod (Cena), a performer who specializes in masturbation-themed song parodies, to play Ricky. Turns out Rod is way more convincing than Dean, JT, or Wes could ever have imagined, but their success comes back to bite them when he worms his way further into their lives.

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Ricky Stanicky's main characters are the worst — and dead boring.

Three men party at a DJ set.Jermaine Fowler, Zac Efron, and Andrew Santino in "Ricky Stanicky."Credit: Ben King / Prime

Ricky Stanicky isn't all that different from the countless comedies about men who simply refuse to grow up behaving badly. But the trio at its core is so boring and so lacking in chemistry that any attempts at humor fall woefully flat. For starters, it's hard to see Dean, Wes, and especially JT as as anything but psychotic. There's a line between silly "har har, boys will be boys" behavior and "you men need to go to jail, now" behavior, and Ricky Stanicky crosses it in its first five minutes. Again, what do you mean you're scheming to get out of your own baby shower? You simply shouldn't be a father! Or a husband, for that matter. All three of these characters' partners need to split.

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Outside of their main unit, Dean, Wes, and JT struggle to find any deeper character motivation. JT obsessively reads parenting advice in his preparation to be a father. (I've got a nugget of wisdom for him: Maybe don't blow off your baby shower for a concert?) Elsewhere, Dean doesn't want a family beyond his journalist girlfriend Erin (Lex Scott Davis), as he's still processing his dark family history. Ricky Stanicky's third-act attempts to explore said history are the cheapest tactic to garner sympathy, and a reminder that Efron deserves far better material post-The Iron Claw. Finally, there's Wes, whose whole personality is "gay stoner slacker." He may be the closest the group has to a conscience, but his few attempts at interiority are shunted aside for more circumcision jokes. His relationship with boyfriend Keith (Daniel Monks) — the only queer relationship in the movie — also gets the least airtime, feeling more like an afterthought.

Worst of all, Efron, Santino, and Fowler have next to no chemistry. Scenes between them suffocate beneath dead air, dragging us deeper into a buddy-less buddy comedy purgatory. I don't want to hear anyone complain about three-hour long movies ever again, because Ricky Stanicky's one-hour-and-48-minute-long runtime felt longer than Oppenheimerand Killers of the Flower Mooncombined.

At least John Cena commits.

A man in an ALF shirt waves at three other men across the bar.Zac Efron, Andrew Santino, Jermaine Fowler, and John Cena in "Ricky Stanicky."Credit: Ben King / Prime

If there's anything to like about Ricky Stanicky, it's Cena's performance as Rod/Ricky. There's no denying he's a talented comedian: He's already proven his chops (especially in the physical performance department) in projects like Blockers and Peacemaker. Here, though, he faces the more daunting challenge of lifting some truly ghastly material to serviceable standards.

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To his credit, Cena does the best with what he's got. He fully hams it up in a montage of Rod's X-rated act, where he dons Devo, Boy George, Billy Idol, and Britney Spears costumes to perform a series of "jerk-off songs." The bit, like most of Ricky Stanicky's bits, overstays its welcome and reeks of desperation, but there's a charm to how Cena throws himself at the songs.

Rod's commitment to the character of Ricky is also easily the funniest aspect of the movie. He treats his assignment like it's a SAG-affiliated shoot, goes full method, and even gets to be a bit of a diva about his process. Overall, he's far more interesting to watch than the three losers who hired him, yet they're stuck bearing most of the emotional brunt of the film. It's particularly embarrassing when Ricky Stanicky tries to take a redemptive, inspirational tack in the film's final act. The movie doesn't earn it, and the characters certainly don't earn it. The only people who've earned anything are the viewers, who deserve some kind of medal for sitting through what is already one of the worst comedies of 2024.

Ricky Stanicky hits Prime Video March 7.

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