Home Reviews Film Movie Review: THE MACHINE (2023): Bert Kreischer and Mark Hamill have a blast in an energetic but formulaic action/comedy

Movie Review: THE MACHINE (2023): Bert Kreischer and Mark Hamill have a blast in an energetic but formulaic action/comedy

Movie Review: THE MACHINE (2023): Bert Kreischer and Mark Hamill have a blast in an energetic but formulaic action/comedy

The Bert Kreischer Mark Hamill car

Car review

Cars (2023) Movie reviewOR movie run by Peter Atenciowritten by Kevin Biegel AND Scotty Landes and playing Bert Kreischer, Mark Hamill, Jimmy Tatro, Iva Babic, Robert Maaser, Stephanie Kurtzuba, Martyn Ford, Jess Gabor, Rita Bernard-Shaw, Nikola Djuricko, Oleg Taktarov, Amelie Child Villers, Aleksander Sreckovic, Set Sjostrand AND mercedes de la cruz.

Bert Kreischer is a very talented comic actor, but some of his sharp and quick wit works against him in the energetic and fast paced action/comedy, The machine. Fortunately, Kreischer matches Mark Hamill. You read it right. The actor who played Luke Skywalker has, perhaps, the second most memorable role of his career here in this film. Director Peter Atencio’s new film is funny and entertaining even if it is long and has some offensive comments that should have been edited out of the picture.

As the film opens, we get a great rock rendition of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” played over the opening credits. Bert (Kreischer), an often shirtless 50-year-old, is throwing a party for his daughter, Sasha (Jess Gabor). Although Sasha doesn’t want anything big for her sweet sixteen, Berti goes overboard and throws an extravagant party. Bert is publicly known for stealing a watch from the Russian mob over 20 years ago. In fact, Berti is proud of this fact. But when a woman from the Russian mafia named Irina (Iva Babic) shows up at his house, Berti must face his past to save Sasha, whose life Irina is threatened. Meanwhile, Bert’s father Albert (Hamill) has arrived to pay tribute to Sasha for her birthday, but now, he must join forces with Bert to go to Russia to return the watch he “stole”. It may be important to know that Bertie is not entirely sure of the clock’s whereabouts, which will keep the audience guessing as to how this plot itself will be resolved.

There are so many action scenes happening in the The machine, it’s hard to know where to start. One of the most gruesome sequences in the film has Bert slitting a mobster’s throat and then slamming his hand into the guy’s severed neck. Such scenes seem a bit extreme for a light-hearted action picture, but they are here nonetheless.

As the plot unfolds, the audience is treated to flashbacks of a younger Bert (a very good Jimmy Tatro) who was talking about the TV show, Friends, and passing off other people’s ideas as his own while studying in college. Eventually, Bert made a trip to Russia, where he managed to find the aforementioned watch that is now being sought after by some business-minded people.

Iva Babic occasionally steals the film as blonde and tattooed Irina, who is sometimes absolutely hysterical, and sometimes a little menacing. Babic draws attention at the end of the film as he kills off a key character and impersonates Steve Urkel from the old TV series, Family Matters. As her brother Alexei, Robert Maaser also gets some solid scenes himself where he demonstrates real intensity through a sparring match with Bert at the end of the picture where Alexei confronts the so-called “Machine”, Bert himself.

Hamill is nothing short of brilliant here as the rug store owner who bonds with his son while trying to save his granddaughter. There are times when Hamill’s personality really makes the audience laugh out loud, especially with his introduction to the picture where he makes weird noises with his mouth and then with his commentary about the stores he runs. There are three locations that Albert is in charge of, and he rightfully makes that fact known in one of the funniest scenes here.

Stephanie Kurtzuba has a small but essential role in the film as Bert’s wife LeeAnn, who is in therapy with her husband and children as the film opens. Bert talks about the use of the “C word” in this part of the picture and this is an example of some of the processing the film offers that could have been toned down a bit. Kurtzuba is radiant, though, and does a fine job in the picture.

You will especially like the action sequences in The machine, especially the tense ones on a train that happen during the film. The balance between comedy and action is a bit off, but Kreischer keeps the film feeling lighter than it might have with another performer in the role. Kreischer and Hamill’s relationship together is nothing short of sublime to behold.

If not for the vulgarity and excessive use of profanity, The machine could have been a huge hit at the box office. It’s doing so-so right now, but it’s getting high audience scores. Overall, it’s a good movie, but overall it’s flawed. However, Mark Hamill is having so much fun that you can go with the premise the film offers and enjoy the live performance that Hamill has added to the highlights of his career. The machine it’s nothing short of a fun ride with some really energetic performers that make it better than it has any right to be.


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