The Machine Review: A Tonally Confused Blend of Action and Comedy

The Machine, directed by Peter Atencio, presents itself as a film that doesn’t quite know what it wants to be. Oscillating between a high-octane action extravaganza and a raunchy comedy, the clash of tones leaves the movie feeling disjointed and unbalanced. While Bert Kreischer delivers a decent lead performance, essentially playing an exaggerated version of himself, the overall experience falls short of being truly exceptional. Fans of Kreischer’s stand-up comedy may find some enjoyment in seeing him do more of the same, but for others, The Machine proves to be a forgettable and relatively lifeless venture, despite some occasional moments of humor.

From the outset, it becomes apparent that The Machine struggles to find its identity. The filmmakers seem torn between creating an explosive action flick and a crude comedy, resulting in an incongruous mishmash. The transition from intense action sequences to raunchy humor is often jarring and fails to establish a cohesive narrative. This lack of coherence prevents the film from achieving a sense of purpose and clarity, leaving viewers uncertain of what to expect next.

Bert Kreischer’s performance in The Machine is solid, but it doesn’t veer far from his established comedic persona. If you are already a fan of his stand-up routines, you’ll likely find enjoyment in seeing him reprise a similar character on the big screen. However, for those unfamiliar with Kreischer’s work, his portrayal offers little that feels fresh or remarkable. While his comedic timing and delivery are undeniably entertaining, it leaves one yearning for a more nuanced and layered performance that could have elevated the film beyond its superficiality.

Although The Machine does manage to elicit a few laughs, the overall experience is largely forgettable. The humor, while occasionally successful, lacks the cleverness and wit necessary to leave a lasting impression. Many of the jokes rely on crude and predictable gags, leaving the film feeling derivative and uninspired. Moments of genuine comedic brilliance are few and far between, leaving the viewer longing for more substantial humor that could have elevated the film’s overall quality.

One of the film’s redeeming qualities lies in its inclusion of great cameos. Throughout The Machine, notable actors like Mark Hamill and other personalities make appearances, injecting brief moments of excitement and intrigue. These cameo performances offer a refreshing diversion from the film’s shortcomings, providing glimpses of potential that, unfortunately, remain largely untapped. While these guest appearances add a touch of excitement, they cannot salvage the movie from its underlying weaknesses.

Visually, The Machine showcases competent action sequences that serve their purpose but lack innovation. The choreography and special effects are serviceable, but they fail to deliver anything truly groundbreaking or memorable. The action, though entertaining at times, feels formulaic and lacks the innovation necessary to stand out in a crowded genre. The film’s visual presentation ultimately feels safe and uninspired, contributing to its overall lackluster nature.

The Machine suffers from an identity crisis, trying to blend the genres of action and comedy without finding a harmonious balance. While Bert Kreischer’s performance offers some familiarity and amusement, it fails to deliver anything exceptional or groundbreaking. The film’s humor, while occasionally funny, lacks the inventiveness and wit needed to leave a lasting impact. Despite the inclusion of notable cameos, The Machine ultimately falls short of its potential, offering little more than forgettable entertainment. For those seeking a memorable and cohesive cinematic experience, The Machine fails to deliver.

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  • Acting - 6/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 4/10
  • Setting/Theme - 4/10
  • Watchability - 6/10
  • Rewatchability - 5/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.