Bert Kreischer: The Machine (2023) Review

This parody of Bert Kreischer’s well-known stand-up performance and a John Wick-like action extravaganza is funny.

Plot: In The Machine, a murderous mobster determined to abduct Bert back to the motherland to atone for his crimes shows up 23 years after the original story that served as its inspiration. Bert Kreischer is faced with a family crisis and the arrival of his estranged father. He and his father must work together to establish common ground while retracing the steps of his younger self in the middle of a fight between a psychopathic crime family.

Review: Two theatrical movies about stand-up comedians with devoted followings and their relationships with their fathers are available this weekend. Both Bert Kreischer and Sebastian Maniscalco have performed portions of the narratives that form the basis of their feature film adventures, but the outcomes could not be more unlike. The Machine is a gutsy action film that is even more of an everyman John Wick than the Bob Odenkirk-led Nobody. Whereas About My Father is a benign bromance focused on the cultural clash of two families, The Machine is a balls-to-the-wall action film. A fictitious follow-up to Kreischer’s actual story of the same name, The Machine has an abundance of gunfights, slap fights, and excessive violence that would make David Leitch cringe. The Machine is, in a word, delightfully wonderful.

The devoted fan favorite Bert Kreischer portrays a slightly fictionalized version of himself. After a humiliating incident with his daughter, the fictitious Bert is seeking therapy in an effort to mend his family relationships via healthy living and exercise. Bert’s relationship with his father, Albert (Mark Hamill), is equally difficult. Florida carpet business owner Albert doesn’t understand why people find his son to be amusing.

A Russian gangster named Irina (Iva Babic) shows up to the father’s daughter’s Sweet 16 birthday celebration to retrieve a watch that Bert stole from her father two decades prior, as detailed in his iconic comedy performance.Irina has the comic retrace his travels in order to retrieve the misplaced watch by transporting Bert and his father to Russia. The movie then occasionally cuts back in time to show young Bert (Jimmy Tatro) experiencing the train heist in Russia that seemed like a comedy at the time.

The three of Kreischer, Hamill, and Babic is what makes this movie stand out, despite the enjoyable retro nature of the flashback renditions of the routine, which are filled with catchy tunes from the 1990s. Bert Kreischer has no problem making fun of himself, but he does so in a way that is accessible and makes fun of both his real-life character and the man fighting to be a father behind it all. In a part that is far unlike from anything he has ever done, Mark Hamill is funny. Hamill portrays Albert as a devoted parent who may not always treat patients well, but once he starts using medicines, everything changes. Even just hearing Hamill curse and act stoned is entertaining.

Iva Babic, who serves as the movie’s primary action star, comes as a delightful surprise. Babic, who plays Irina, is a badass who won’t accept no for an answer while she struggles with her own father issues. This allows Bert and Irina to become closer while they search for the watch that caused all of this trouble.

We are taken on a wild journey from location to location because the majority of the action takes place in Russia. As a result, several action sequences are built up by encounters with various mobsters and groups. There are plenty of enemies for Bert, his father, and Irina to deal with, from warehouses to penthouses, dorm rooms to trains, and even an entire hamlet. Strong villains may be created by well-known character performers like Martyn Ford, Robert Maaser, and Oleg Taktarov. Nevertheless, Nikola Duricko, well known for his part as Yuri in Stranger Things 4, is fantastic in a crucial one.

The Machine is a brutal companion to the current lineup of films that were John Wick-inspired because of the nasty and violent action. Some of the killings in this movie are hysterically savage, and the entire thing comes to a breathtaking conclusion.

The real-life experience of Bert Kreischer is successfully adapted by writers Kevin Biegel (Scrubs) and Scotty Landes (Ma) into a follow-up that retraces the original event and makes it into a pretty darn entertaining action movie. The Machine is Peter Atencio’s first film since 2016’s Keanu, an unexpected action film in and of itself. The Machine’s connection between Bert Kreischer and Mark Hamill, who portrays a convincing father and son, allows it to get away with being as extravagant as it is.

Sequences that would be stunning even in a serious movie are produced by the stunt choreography supervised by Roger Yuan, who has worked on Jason Bourne, John Wick 3, Dune, and many other major motion pictures. Because the quips are delivered during crazy action sequences, The Machine is funnier as a result. Bert Kreischer holding his own in hand-to-hand fighting while wearing no shirt is worth the price of admission by itself.

Watching The Machine was a blast. This extension of Bert Kreischer’s original narrative, which is magnificently violent and filthy, will make his fans extremely pleased. Iva Babic should get a lot more work based on her performance in this movie, and Mark Hamill is excellent as the elder Kreischer. The Machine shares elements of Bert Kreischer’s irresistible appeal, Borat’s European comedy, and John Wick’s inventive action. Stay away if drop-kicked dogs and throat punches are not your thing. The Machine is the genuine deal, and everyone else should put their drinks down and get ready because it deserves to be seen in a theater full of people who are ready for big-screen humor.

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