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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

REVIEW: The John Cena flick you didn’t know you needed

Photo courtesy of Amazon MGM Studios

John Cena, penis humor and Beabadoobee — what more could you ask for? 

“Ricky Stanicky” was released on Prime on March 8 and has been on my mind ever since. Seriously.

Starting with a wonderfully silly animated opening, “Ricky Stanicky” introduces us to three best friends that fall into the classic trio archetype — the normal and well-rounded ringleader Dean (Zac Efron), the loveable asshole JT (Andrew Santino) and the one with morals, Wes (Jermaine Fowler). 

From childhood, they’ve used an invented fourth friend, Ricky Stanicky, as a scapegoat for everything. Whether a prank went horribly wrong or the guys need an excuse to go to a concert, Ricky is there to have a horrific accident or birthday party. His entire life and lore are compiled in one giant book. 

When JT ends up missing the birth of his child due to Ricky allegedly needing emotional support, the friends need Ricky Stanicky to make a physical appearance and fast. Here’s where John Cena, the star of the show, comes in. Washed-up alcoholic and aspiring actor Rod (John Cena) is more than happy to take the role and put a face to the name. And he kills it.

The film took a lot of interesting twists and turns that I was not expecting. Combining the humor of a comedy with the hustle of the modern workplace, “Ricky Stanicky” is a refreshing break from the standard male-led comedies with boring punchlines. 

Don’t get me wrong, “Ricky Stanicky” isn’t smart by any means — there’s a good half-hour portion that consists solely of masturbation jokes — but it’s light-hearted and definitely has its laugh-out-loud moments. Combined with the anxiety that comes with stories centered around a lie, “Ricky Stanicky” takes the typical buddy comedy to the next level with casting and character development. 

“Ricky Stanicky” has its fair share of surprising moments. Beabadoobee and Men I Trust make appearances for the soundtrack, details I found ill-fitting for the story but ultimately added to the comedic value. 

The biggest complaint I have with the film is with Wes, the only Black man in the main cast. While Dean and JT are white-collar superstars, Wes appears alongside them as an unemployed stoner. To top it off, he’s gay with a disabled boyfriend. It felt like the movie’s diversity was jam-packed into his sole character. 

The movie features casual representation of gay and disabled people but refrains from joking at the expense of these characters. It was a nice touch that the majority of the laughs in the movie weren’t mean-spirited. 

Still, “Ricky Stanicky” takes the superficial character archetypes found in comedy movies and amps them to the next level. The characters each go through personal growth while still sticking to their original values and traits. 

After having my life ruined by the tragic sports drama “The Iron Claw” earlier this year, I agree with Zac Efron in that “Ricky Stanicky” was “exactly what I needed,” and I would venture to say that “Ricky Stanicky” is what you need, too. 

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About the Contributor
Sascha Harvey
Sascha Harvey, Opinion Editor
Sascha Harvey is the opinon editor for The Sunflower. A junior majoring in graphic design, this is Harvey's third year on staff and second year as a section editor. He is originally from Arkansas but has no accent to speak of (unless you listen really hard). The graphic design major enjoys covering feature stories and local news. Harvey uses he/him pronouns.

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