Tired premise: John Cena can’t quite salvage Amazon Prime’s ‘Ricky Stanicky’

Peter Farrelly, director of the Academy Award-winning (and treacherously overrated) Green Book, returns to his hard-R comedy roots with Ricky Stanicky, a comedy that becomes tiresome despite a fine effort by John Cena as the title character.

Farrelly, with his brother Bobby, gave us gems like Kingpin, Dumb and Dumber and, the mother of R-rated comedies, There’s Something About Mary, before splintering off from his bro and venturing into more dramatic fare for a spell. He also co-produced and partially directed the Bob Odenkirk TV drama Lucky Hank, criminally cancelled after one season.

Cena plays a lounge singer in Atlantic City who specializes into turning stuff like Billy Idol songs into masturbation numbers. A group of friends, led by Zac Efron, hire him to become Ricky Stanicky, a made-up best friend the men have been using as an excuse to escape their wives and girlfriends so they can go do “guy stuff.”

It’s a dumb premise, and it gets predictably dumber when the group’s other friends and loved ones start embracing the fraudulent Ricky as a truly great human being. One big business party leads to “Ricky” getting a real job where the boys work, and, you know, hilarity ensues.

Actually … it’s not that funny. It feels like a million movies before it and doesn’t come close to approaching the quality and consistency of the Farrelly brother comedies. It’s worth noting that, unlike many of those efforts, Farrelly had no hand in writing the script for Stanicky.

Cena manages a few laughs here and there, but the tired premise plays out way before the end credits. Cena fans can take solace in the recently announced news that Peacemaker, the hilarious DC show Cena did with James Gunn, starts filming its second season this summer.

Ricky Stanicky is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

YouTube video