The Machine
This action-comedy based on Bert Kreischer’s viral stand-up routine is an incredibly juvenile film best enjoyed by the comedian’s fans.

The Machine

Release Date: May 26, 2023
Runtime: 01:52
Bert’s drunken past catches up with him 20 years down the road when he and his father are kidnapped by those Bert wronged 20 years ago while drunk on a college semester abroad in Russia.

Comedian 's past encounter with the Russian mafia comes back to haunt him in The Machine. Bert Kreischer has made a career out of recounting when his younger self () became involved with the Russian mafia while on a college trip to Russia, which ended with him assisting in robbing a train. However, Bert decides to put comedy on the back burner and focus on being a good husband to his wife, LeeAnn () and father to his daughters Sasha () and Tatiana (Amelie Villiers). However, an elaborate Sweet Sixteen birthday party for Sasha is disrupted by not only the arrival of Bert's estranged father, Albert () but Russian mafia heiress Irina (), who drags Bert and Albert back to Russia to recover a pocket watch stolen from her father.

The Machine Synopsis

The Machine is an action-comedy directed by Peter Atencio (Key and Peele) based on comedian Bert Kreischer's viral stand-up routine telling his reportedly true experiences of partying with the Russian mafia on a college trip and gaining the nickname “The Machine.” 23 years later, Bert's stand-up routine is seen by a Russian mob boss, who recognizes him as the man who stole his family pocket watch. The mob boss' daughter, Irina, forces Bert to return to Russian and retrace his steps, with his estranged father Albert forced to come along. However, Irina's siblings also want to acquire the watch, particularly her brother Alexei ().

My Thoughts of The Machine

I went into The Machine, not to be confused by the 2013 sci-fi film of the same name, not really knowing much about Bert Kreischer and the viral stand-up routine the film is based on. The film starts off with Bert, playing a fictionalized version of himself, taking a sabbatical from comedy and his debaucherous behaviour after an incident where his daughter Sasha was nearly arrested. I thought this entire first act of the film was quite atrocious and more akin to a bad sitcom than a cinematic one.

The Machine starts to improve a little bit with the arrival of a stunt-casted Mark Hamill, Bert's estranged carpet salesman father, Albert and the two are forced to travel to Russia and retrace the steps of Bert's college train robbery. This results in a number of flashbacks to a Younger Bert, played by Jimmy Tatro (22 Jump Street), and how he befriended a Russian mobster named Igor (Nikola Duricko) and had a fling with classmate Ashley (). Doing to search for the stolen pocket watch, Bert and Albert find themselves caught in the middle of a violent power struggle between Irina and her younger brothers Alexei and Vanya (Set Sj?strand).

As Irina, Croatian actress Iva Babic stands out as one of the best characters in The Machine, particularly as she shows off her fighting skills during the film's action scenes. While Mark Hamill likely took his role only for the paycheque, he does show a side to himself never seen in Star Wars, particularly during the film's final act when his character is high on drugs. However, I can really give or take Bert Kreischer's skills as an actor, as his schtick seems to involve drinking heavily with his shirt off and being subject to multiple anti-fat jokes.

Ultimately, I found The Machine to be a quite juvenile action-comedy based on a stand-up routine. While there are some enjoyable moments in the film, they are few, and it is only a film for those who like Bert Kreischer's brand of humour or wished The Hangover was more Russian.

Support Us

Lights, camera, support! 🎬 Join the Sean Kelly on Movies community and help keep the reels rolling! If you've enjoyed our cinematic insights and reviews, consider becoming a patron on our Patreon or making a one-time donation. Every contribution ensures we can keep delivering top-notch content. Join us on Patreon or donate today to fuel our passion for film! 🍿✨

Trailer for The Machine

This post was proofread by Grammarly 

How to Watch The Machine

Where to Stream The Machine

Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly
Sean Patrick Kelly is a freelance film critic and blogger based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.