The Machine Parent Guide
Near constant substance use and profanity mingle gleefully with graphic violence to produce an exceptionally bad film.
Parent Movie Review
Comedian Bert Kreischer has made a name for himself as an out-of-shape shirtless party animal, leveraging that dubious skill-set into a lucrative career in comedy. After an incident which nearly got his oldest daughter (Jess Gabor) arrested, Bert steps back from the career (and associated substance use) and tries to figure out who he is under the hard drinking, drug using, party persona.
Bert’s identity crisis is not helped by the arrival of his hypercritical father, Albert (Mark Hamil), who immediately sets about lambasting Bert for a variety of perceived personal failings. Luckily for Bert, this barrage of criticism is cut short by the arrival of Irina (Iva Babic). Irina is a major player in the Russian mob, and she intends to take Bert back to Russia to retrieve something he stole in his misspent youth. In the intervening, Bert has turned the story into a stand-up comedy segment – with a few embellishments – but it’s a story everyone has believed to be fictional. Now, with his family’s safety on the line, Bert and his father are dragged off to St. Petersburg, where he is going to have to retrace his steps very very carefully.
Doesn’t everyone love movies where the lead actor is playing a fictionalized version of himself? I can think of exactly one such movie that works, and that’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. (Okay, honorable mention for Being John Malkovich, but that’s not exactly accessible cinema. Just because Nic Cage can do it doesn’t mean any oddball can. There’s only one Nic Cage, after all.) I think shirtless alcoholics come roughly a dime a dozen at frat parties. So as you might expect, this movie is essentially two hours of Bert (thankfully with a shirt on, more often than not) cracking wise, drinking heavily, and nearly dying.
This might be the first movie I’ve seen where a character with a clear pattern of substance abuse goes off the sauce to protect his family and discovers that it was the wrong decision. Somehow, it’s essential for Bert to be a dissolute drunk in his professional life: He just needs to be a better father at the same time. It’s one of the most bizarrely perverse “moral lessons” I’ve ever seen on screen, and that’s saying a lot.
So on the off chance that none of this indicated to you that The Machine is not the epitome of virtuous family entertainment, let me spell it out for you. This film is not a paragon of virtue or family entertainment. Near constant substance use and profanity mingle gleefully with graphic violence, and frankly, I’m surprised we didn’t get more nudity. None of this is exactly out of left field, considering Kreischer’s style of comedy, but I expected better from Mark Hamil. I haven’t been this disappointed in him since The Last Jedi came out.Directed by Peter Atencio. Starring Bert Kreischer, Mark Hamill, Jess Gabor. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release May 26, 2023. Updated May 26, 2023
Watch the trailer for The MachineThe trailer contains excessive profanity and will not be posted here.
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Machine rated R? The Machine is rated R by the MPAA for strong violence, pervasive language, drug use and some sexual references.
Violence: People are frequently shot, stabbed, and severely beaten. There are references to torture. A dog is thrown out of a window. A man’s throat is cut, another man punches into the cut and then holds the first man’s head out of a train window until a signpost decapitates him.
Sexual Content: There are several references to sexual behaviour. A set of severed testicles are seen in a dream sequence. An old man is briefly seen nude from behind.
Profanity: There are 84 sexual expletives, 34 scatological curses, and frequent use of mild curses. There is near constant use of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are seen drinking, smoking, and vaping. They are also seen snorting, smoking, and ingesting a variety of drugs including (but not limited to) marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, and MDMA. There are also references to underage drinking and marijuana use.
Page last updated May 26, 2023