Over the summer, “The Machine” hit theaters and ultimately flopped by only grossing $10 million with a $20 million budget. However, I think it deserved better.
Known for performing standup shirtless, Bert Kreischer, AKA “The Machine”, is a comedian who went viral for his unbelievable story about accidentally drunkenly joining the Russian mob.
Now, he has turned that tale into a movie.
“The Machine” tells the story of Kreischer and the fictionalized version of his real-life experience in Russia when he was in college. In Russia, he befriended a Russian mobster, partied with them and even robbed a train with them.
Twenty-something years later, he is stepping back from comedy due to family issues. Those issues accidentally live-streaming his teenage daughter’s arrest while drunk.
Now, he has to deal with the consequences and try and recover his relationship with his daughter. This leads to revealing his own problems with his father Albert (Mark Hamill).
During a disastrous sweet sixteen for his daughter that leads her to run off with her friends for the weekend, Bert and Albert are met with a Russian mobster’s daughter, Irina, who is looking for a family heirloom that Bert stole when he drunkenly robbed a train while he spent a semester in Russia in college.
Irina forces Bert and his father to come with her back to Russia to find the pocketwatch and return it to her father.
Surprisingly, “The Machine,” directed by Peter Atencio and written by Kevin Biegel and Scotty Landes, is pretty good.
You can tell this was heavily influenced by Kreischer’s standup as the jokes and cadence were similar to his standup. So, if you are a fan of his standup, you will definitely be a fan of this film.
While Kreischer is one of my favorite comedians, I had low expectations for this film. I wanted it to be good so badly that I only assumed with the way my life was going. I’d be met with disappointment. However, gladly, I was not.
Kreischer’s acting was pretty solid for someone who hasn’t really acted before. Hamill of course knocked it out of the park as he is a seasoned actor. But Kreischer was able to step up to Hamill’s level and deliver a performance that would be difficult for a comic to do.
And not to mention the story kept a good pace and was quite interesting. I really enjoyed the visuals and scenes depicting a young Bert Kreischer (Jimmy Tatro), because it helped me visualize the story from the standup routine, which I watched as soon as I got home. Tatro was perfecting casting for young Bert.
Not to mention, in the fight scenes in Russia, the cinematography is quite good. Not really what you would expect from a comedy and more like a John Wick film, but still very visually pleasing.
“The Machine” didn’t get as much time in theaters as other blockbusters and comedies usually do, but regardless it’s a film that most would enjoy and deserves more praise than it has gotten.
For a while, it seemed like comedies were falling off and at an all-time low. There hadn’t been an outstanding comedy in a while. However, comedies are seemingly making a return and thriving.
“The Machine” is a funny, visually pleasing and heartwarming film that needs to be seen by a wider audience, not just me going three separate times in a theater with six other people in it each time.
It’s available to rent on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV. I highly recommend watching this film and giving it a chance.