Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian Robbins|
|Music by||Stewart Copeland|
|Edited by||Anita Brandt-Burgoyne|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$23.7 million|
Good Burger is a 1997 American comedy film directed by Brian Robbins and starring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. It evolved from the comedy sketch of the same name featured on the Nickelodeon series All That. It was produced by Tollin/Robbins Productions and Nickelodeon Movies and released on July 25, 1997 by Paramount Pictures.
On the first day of summer, a slacking high school student, Dexter Reed (Kenan Thompson), takes his mother's car on a joyride while she is on a business trip and accidentally crashes into and damages the car of his teacher, Mr. Wheat. (Sinbad). Dexter is in danger of going to jail, as he does not have a driver's license or insurance. But Mr. Wheat agrees to let Dexter pay for the damages to both cars in exchange for not calling the police on Dexter. After discovering that the damages will total $2,500, Dexter is forced to get a summer job. He ends up finding employment at Good Burger where he meets and reluctantly befriends dimwitted Ed (Kel Mitchell) and a host of other colorful employees. Initially, neither of them are aware that it was in fact Ed who inadvertently caused Dexter's car accident; Ed had been rollerblading to make a delivery and skated in front of Dexter at a crossroad, causing him to swerve and crash into Mr. Wheat's car
While it seems that Dexter is on his way to repaying the money he owes, things take a turn for the worse. Across the street from Good Burger, a large fancy burger joint called Mondo Burger is about to open up, where Dexter originally found employment before Good Burger, but was fired after clashing with Mondo Burger's manager, Kurt Bozwell (Jan Schweiterman). It appears that the opening of the hugely popular Mondo Burger may very well spell the end for small-time Good Burger because of the oversized burgers they produce. Fortunately, Good Burger is saved by the invention of a secret sauce made by Ed. Dexter, finally realizing that Ed was responsible for his car accident, takes advantage of the good-hearted yet dim witted Ed in order to make money off the secret sauce in order to pay off his debt sooner. Ed signs a contract that gives Dexter 80% of his profits.
All seems well as Ed's sauce is a huge success. However, Mondo Burger's manager, Kurt Bozwell, makes some failed attempts to obtain the sauce. Kurt first attempts to encourage Ed to quit Good Burger to work at Mondo Burger with a higher hourly wage. When Ed refuses, Kurt sends in Roxanne (Carmen Electra) to seduce Ed herself in order to obtain the recipe for Ed's sauce, but to no avail as Ed's clumsiness and dim-wittedness caused her to repeated get injured, and ultimately quit her job. Later, Ed and Dexter suspect something's up with Mondo Burger, due to a dog refusing to eat a Mongo Burger instead of a Good Burger, and disguise themselves as old women, to discover that Mondo Burger chemically induces their burgers with Triampathol, which is illegal; Kurt kidnaps them, and calls a man named Wade who has them committed to a mental hospital called Demented Hills so they won't tell the public.
Threatened by the success of Ed's sauce, Kurt breaks into Good Burger after closing hours and spikes Ed's secret sauce with shark poison. When Ed and Dexter's co-worker, Otis (Abe Vigoda), confronts him after being woken up, he is committed as well. He informs the duo about Kurt's scheme, so they hatch a plan to escape. The next morning, with the help of Ed doing a dance number and encouraging other patients to dance, and Dexter managing to distract the security guards, the trio escapes the mental hospital via broken windows and steal an ice cream truck to drive them back to Good Burger to prevent anyone from eating the poisoned sauce. Ed and Dexter then break into Mondo Burger to expose their chemically induced burgers to the police. Dexter creates a diversion, during which Ed tries to take a can of Triampathol, but clumsily knocks one into the meat grinder. Thus inspired, Ed pours the entire supply into the grinder. Meanwhile, Kurt has captured Dexter, and is about to do away with him when Ed arrives bearing an empty can. Kurt mocks Ed's presumed foolishness, whereupon Ed snidely comments that the can wasn't empty when he found it. Chaos starts to ensue in the Mondo Burger building, as the burgers are now exploding due to overuse of Triampathol.
In the aftermath, Kurt is arrested for using the illegal substance and Mondo Burger is destroyed, the debris crushing and destroying Mr. Wheat's car as well. Dexter also tears up the contract that Ed signed, and tells him that he gets to keep all his money. Ed and Dexter then walk back to Good Burger where they are both (especially Ed) praised by the other Good Burger employees as heroes for saving Good Burger.
- Kel Mitchell as Ed, the inept, but well-meaning teen cashier of Good Burger.
- Kenan Thompson as Dexter Reed, a sixteen-year-old high school student who desires to slack during his summer vacation.
- Abe Vigoda as Otis, an elderly Good Burger employee who cooks the French fries.
- Jan Schweiterman as Kurt Bozwell, the C.E.O. and restaurant owner of Mondo Burger who will stop at nothing to make his food chain number one.
- Sinbad as Mr. Wheat, a teacher who demands money from Dexter for car damage.
- Shar Jackson as Monique, a Good Burger employee who scolds Dexter for using Ed's gullibility to steal most of his money, but eventually becomes his girlfriend.
- Dan Schneider as Mr. Baily, the owner and manager of Good Burger.
- Ron Lester as Spatch, the head fry cook of Good Burger.
- Lori Beth Denberg as Connie Muldoon, a customer whose extremely complex orders are too difficult for Ed to memorize.
- Josh Server as Fizz, the drive-thru employee of Good Burger.
- Ginny Schreiber as Deedee, one of the 2 female employees at Good Burger and a vegetarian.
- Linda Cardellini as Heather, an insane girl in Demented Hills that has feelings for Ed.
- Shaquille O'Neal as Himself
- George Clinton as Dancing Crazy, a Demented Hills patient.
- Robert Wuhl as an Angry Customer
- Carmen Electra as Roxanne, a henchwoman of Kurt who tries, but fails miserably, to seduce Ed into telling his secret sauce recipe.
- Marques Houston as Jake, Dexter's high school friend.
- J. August Richards as Griffen, one of Kurt's right hand men.
- Hamilton Von Watts as Troy, Kurt's other right-hand man
- Wendy Worthington as the Demented Hills nurse.
Most of the film's scenes were filmed along Glendora Avenue in West Covina, California in March 1997. The building known as "Good Burger" was filmed at a restaurant currently known as "Peter's El Loco" 437 Glendora Ave., West Covina, CA. Meanwhile, Mondo Burger was located across the street at the Samantha Courtyard shopping center, with extra details added to the facade for the film. Ed's house is located on 959 East Topeka Street, in Pasadena, California.
The Action League Now! episode Rock-a-Big Baby was released prior to the film's screening.
Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 32% based on reviews from 38 critics.
Lisa Alspector of Chicago Reader gave the film a negative review, and wrote "The perceived notion that kids want their movies fast and furious is barely in evidenced in this 1997 comedy, a laboriously slow suburban adventure in which a teenager's summer of leisure slips through his fingers when he has to get a job—an experience that proves almost life threatening because of the cutthroat competition between two burger joints."
Leonard Klady of Variety enjoyed the film and wrote "The meat of the piece is definitely FDA cinematically approved, and perfect if you like this brand of entertainment with the works."
Paramount released the film on VHS on February 17, 1998, and on DVD on May 27, 2003. Warner Home Video (who releases Paramount titles on DVD and Blu-ray under license, as Paramount themselves have moved to digital-only distribution) reissued it on DVD on September 24, 2013.
The DVD releases lack special features. The film has not been released on Blu-Ray format yet, unlike most of the films from Nickelodeon. The only official HD version is available on Netflix.
- Koch, Neal (December 1, 2002). "Business; Stepping Up in TV, Without Stepping on Toes". The New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- Filming locations for Good Burger, IMDb
- "Good Burger (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
- Alspector, Lisa. "Good Burger". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- Seiler, Andy. "Good Burger". USA Today. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
- Horst, Carole (1997-07-21). "Good Burger". Variety (magazine). Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- Rotten Tomatoes - Good Burger Reviews
- Hettrick, Scott; Honeycutt, Kirk (February 17, 1998). "'Good Burger' video bad, with R-rated trailers.". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 6, 2016 – via Highbeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
- Tyner, Adam (June 5, 2003). "Good Burger". DVD Talk. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
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