The picture’s star, Bert Kreischer, is one of those popular stand-up comedians who isn’t connected enough to the zeitgeist to generate much in the way of think pieces or buzz. But in the late 1990s, as a student at Florida State University, he was The subject of Rolling Stone Magazine Profile which named it “the top party in the country’s number one party school”.
The late 1990s were a long time ago, and today Krasher looks mildly detached at 50 years old. It’s part of his shtick – he performs stand-up shirtless. In “The Machine,” he plays a fictionalized version of himself, initially in a remorseful mood — a family man who royally ticked off his clan. At his daughter’s 16th birthday party, Bert and his carpet salesman father, Albert, are framed at gunpoint by the villainous Irina (Iva Babic) and taken to Russia, where Bert has been a drunk for decades. He is about to atone for his role in the train robbery. First
This story of the white standing shaggy dog is drawn from a fact. Crasher Bit. As they dodge scores of Slavic psycho killers who are after a hereditary Brit burglary, father and son solve their problems (of course).
You might wonder, if Crasher is such a popular stand-up comedian, why hasn’t he done more television and film acting? Okay fine. Here he hits his marks and stays in the lane of his personality, but he is not an actor who can carry a film. Mark Hamill, as his father, comes closer to Christy old man territory than one might have predicted. He is practically Wilford Brumley.
Director Peter Atencio has had decent results in the ridiculous meta-comedy realm (“Keanu,” for example), but he can’t cook with these ingredients. Even when the constant salty humor goes completely awry (a dog is thrown out of a high window), the product is gentle.
Rated R for language, gore and extreme partying. Running time: 1 hour 52 minutes. In theaters.