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The news that keeps us Onward On!
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The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

A movie to watch out for in March: “Ricky Stanicky”

John+Cena+stars+as+Rock+Hard+Rod+in+his+new+movie+releasing+today+on+Amazon+Prime+Video.+
Gage Skidmore
John Cena stars as “Rock Hard Rod” in his new movie releasing today on Amazon Prime Video.

On March 7, 2024, “Ricky Stanicky” hits Prime Video with a stacked cast featuring John Cena, as Stanicky himself, and Zac Efron playing a character named Dean. In this film, three friends (Efron, Andrew Santino and Jermaine Fowler) make up a man named Ricky Stanicky to get out of trouble. As the friends grow older, they continue to use Stanicky for their lies and schemes, but it all comes to a head when Santino’s character, JT, misses the birth of his first child because the friends wanted to go to Las Vegas and told their families that Stanicky’s cancer had resurfaced. 

In order to not be condemned by their spouses forever, the friends decide to hire “Rock Hard Rod” (Cena) to play Stanicky and get them out of their mess. To the friends’ dismay, Stanicky makes a connection with all of their families and even their boss, and the friends must figure out a way to stop the lying and get Stanicky, and Rod, out of their lives forever. 

The movie is both heartwarming and comedic, with an intriguing story and many important thematic elements that a wide range of audiences can connect with. The movie covers heavy and important topics, such as deceit, second chances and friendship throughout the entirety of the film. The Carroll News was lucky enough to be a part of a conference call with both Cena and Efron as they discussed the movie and answered questions from many college news reporters. When the two stars were asked about second chances, Cena replied with:

“Nobody’s perfect. So every beating heart, I believe, appreciates what a second chance is.” He stated, “I work every day to try to manufacture a second chance if I can.”

“Rock Hard Rod” is given a second chance in the film when Dean hires him to embody Ricky Stanicky, a courageous individual, and Cena takes a note from the friends in the film by giving others a second chance in everyday life. Cena also noted that he relates to Stanicky because he feels that “[his] life is just a serendipitous bunch of happy accidents.” He believes he was simply given a chance to be a wrestler and an actor and went with it, similarly to Rod in the film. 

On the comedic side of the film, the co-stars believed that it was very difficult to stay in character throughout filming their scenes because many of the story’s elements have some sort of comedic edge. However, Efron believes that although the story comes from a place of comedy, when the three friends lie, “they’re doing it out of loyalty and love for one another, to protect each other, and I think that’s what I value most in friendships.” Cena agrees, stating that accountability and honesty are within his value system and are themes at the heart of the film as well. 

“Ricky Stanicky” juggles elements of comedy and deep growth within each of the characters, while showcasing the importance of strength and empathy throughout life. The actors had fun throughout the film, while also diving into the facts of life and how their characters bounce back and learn from their mistakes. Cena gives the audience a piece of advice to take away from the movie: “If you’re loving what you do, just mix it with a whole lot of perseverance, and you never know what can happen.” 

Audiences can see Cena and Efron in action during this comedic and heartwarming film that releases today on Amazon Prime Video. 

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About the Contributor
Anna Maxwell
Anna Maxwell, Arts and Life Editor
Anna Maxwell is the Arts and Life Editor for the Carroll News from Ashtabula, Ohio. She is a Freshman at John Carroll University who is an Undecided major. Anna has been writing for the Carroll News since the fall of 2023! In addition to writing for the Carroll News, she is also an Honors student here at John Carroll, and she is excited to continue writing in the years to come! When not writing, Anna can be found reading a new book, or binge-watching her favorite Netflix shows! She can also be found spending time with her friends and participating in events around campus! In the future, Anna aspires to become a writer of fiction novels, and also an editor for a well-known publishing company! To contact Anna, email her at [email protected].

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