|Directed by||Brian Robbins|
|Based on||Good Burger|
by Dan Schneider
|Edited by||Anita Brandt-Burgoyne|
|Music by||Stewart Copeland|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$23.7 million|
Good Burger is a 1997 American comedy film directed by Brian Robbins and written by Dan Schneider with Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert. Starring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, it is based on the comedy sketch of the same name on the Nickelodeon series All That and was produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Tollin/Robbins Productions. After being filmed from March to April 1997, it was released worldwide on July 25, 1997, by Paramount Pictures.
The film received a mixed reception from critics but was a commercial success that grossed $23.7 million against a budget of $8.5 million. In the years since its release, Good Burger garnered a cult following, particularly among millennials who grew up with the film and the All That television series.
On the first day of summer, slacker high school student Dexter Reed takes his mother's car on a joyride while she is away on a business trip but is involved in a car accident with his school teacher, Mr. Wheat. With no driver's license or car insurance, Dexter is in danger of going to jail, but Mr. Wheat agrees to let him pay for the damage in exchange for not calling the police on him. With the damage estimated at $1,900 (which later becomes $2,500), Dexter decides to take a summer job to pay for the expenses. After being fired from the new and soon-to-open Mondo Burger restaurant for clashing with the owner and manager, Kurt Bozwell, he ends up working for Good Burger instead. There, he meets and reluctantly befriends the dimwitted, slightly nutty, and absent-minded cashier Ed alongside its other employees. Initially, neither of them is aware that Ed inadvertently caused Dexter's car accident; Ed had rollerbladed in front of Dexter on his way to make a delivery, causing him to swerve and crash into Mr. Wheat's car. While both are working together, Dexter realizes that Ed caused his car accident, but eventually forgives him.
The survival of the smaller Good Burger is threatened by the grand opening of Mondo Burger, with its newly built burger chain and oversized burgers. However, Ed creates a new secret sauce which saves Good Burger by vastly increasing its sales. Dexter takes advantage of Ed's gullibility to extort money from him so that he can pay off his debt sooner. Ed promptly signs a contract that gives Dexter 80% of the bonus he receives for his sauce, and Dexter likewise warns Ed against revealing the sauce recipe to anyone. After failing to entice Ed with a higher hourly wage at Mondo Burger, Kurt, who wants the secret sauce for his restaurant, sends an employee named Roxanne to seduce him into revealing the recipe. However, Ed clumsily injures her repeatedly and she ultimately quits her job.
When a dog refuses to eat a discarded Mondo Burger in favor of a discarded Good Burger, a suspicious Ed and Dexter decide to investigate. They infiltrate Mondo Burger's kitchen in disguise and discover that their burgers are artificially enhanced with Triampathol, an illegal food chemical. Kurt discovers them and has them committed to the Demented Hills Asylum, where his acqantance Wade works as a hospital employee, to prevent them from sharing their discovery. Afterward, Kurt and his henchmen break into Good Burger, find Ed's secret sauce, and begin tainting it with a synthetic toxin called shark poison. Otis, an elderly employee who was sleeping on the premises, catches them red-handed and attempts to call the police, but Kurt sends him to Demented Hills as well. After Otis informs Ed and Dexter about Kurt's scheme, they escape from Demented Hills and hijack an ice cream truck to head back to Good Burger, arriving just in time to prevent anyone from eating the poisoned sauce.
Ed and Dexter return to Mondo Burger to expose their crimes to the police. While Dexter creates a distraction, Ed tries to take a can of Triampathol but clumsily knocks another one into the meat grinder. Inspired, he pours another into the grinder. As Kurt corners Dexter on the roof, Ed suddenly arrives with an empty can. Kurt mocks Ed's actions, whereupon he snidely comments to Dexter that the can was not empty when he found it. Mondo Burger then starts to collapse, as the burgers start exploding due to the excess Triampathol. A large artificial burger falls from the roof and smashes Mr. Wheat's newly-repaired car. In the aftermath, Mondo Burger is shut down and Kurt is arrested for poisoning Good Burgers sauce and for using illegal Triampathol. Ed then explains to Dexter that he purposely did what he did to prevent Kurt from manipulating the legal system and escaping conviction, ironically responding to Dexter's questions by saying, "I'm not stupid." Dexter apologizes to Ed for taking advantage of the latter's salary from the sauce and both reconcile, with Dexter tearing up the contract with Ed and telling him that he gets to keep all the profits from his sauce. They return to Good Burger, where their coworkers hail them as heroes.
- Kel Mitchell as Ed, the teen cashier of Good Burger.
- Kenan Thompson as Dexter Reed, a 16-year-old high school student
- Abe Vigoda as Otis, an elderly Good Burger employee
- Jan Schweiterman as Kurt Bozwell, the owner of Mondo Burger
- Sinbad as Mr. Wheat, Dexter's accident-prone teacher
- Shar Jackson as Monique, a Good Burger employee and Dexter's love interest
- Dan Schneider as Mr. Baily, the owner and manager of Good Burger
- Ron Lester as Spatch, the head fry cook of Good Burger.
- Josh Server as Fizz, the drive-thru employee of Good Burger.
- Ginny Schreiber as Deedee, a female employee at Good Burger.
- Linda Cardellini as Heather who has a crush on 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 (uncredited)
- Marques Houston as Jake, Dexter's schoolmate.
- J. August Richards as Griffin, one of Kurt's henchmen.
- Hamilton Von Watts as Troy, Kurt's other henchman.
- Floyd Levine as the Ice Cream Man.
- Lori Beth Denberg as Connie Muldoon, a customer
- Matt Gallant as a reporter
Filming for Good Burger took place in 6 weeks from March 9 to April 21, 1997. Most of its scenes were recorded along Glendora Avenue in West Covina, California, and including at a restaurant currently known as "Peter's El Loco". Across the road of Peter's El Loco, Mondo Burger is now currently known as "West Covina Family Dentistry".
The Action League Now! episode "Rock-a-Big Baby" was released prior to screenings of the film.
The DVD release lacks any special features. After many years, the film was released on Blu-ray on February 16, 2021. On July 19, 2022, a limited edition Blu-ray steelbook of the film was released to commemorate its 25th anniversary. Like the original DVD and first edition Blu-ray, the 25th anniversary lacks any special features except for the original "Good Burger" sketch from All That.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $7.1 million, finishing #5 at the US box office. It went on to gross $23.7 million worldwide. It was released in the United Kingdom on February 13, 1998, where it only reached #14.
Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 33% based on 45 reviews and an average rating of 4.3/10. The consensus reads, "Good Burger might please hardcore fans of the 1990s Nickelodeon TV series that launched leads Kenan and Kel to stardom, but for all others, it will likely prove a comedy that is neither satisfyingly rare nor well done." On Metacritic the film has a score of 41 out of 100 based on 17 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Lisa Alspector of Chicago Reader gave the film a review, saying that, "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." Andy Seiler of USA Today gave the film two stars out of four, saying that, "Good Burger is not very well done, but it does have energy."
Leonard Klady of Variety wrote, "The meat of the piece is definitely FDA cinematically approved, and perfect if you like this brand of entertainment with the works." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two stars out of four, writing "It didn't do much for me, but I am prepared to predict that its target audience will have a good time."
Retrospective reviews well after the initial release have described its continued popularity; Nathan Rabin said that the film "obviously connected with a lot of children at the time of the film's release and holds up surprisingly well 18 years later." Courtney Eckerle said, "The 90s generation will never forget [this deliciously terrible movie]" and Tara Aquino of Mental Floss called it "a silly cult hit that's indelibly a part of Generation Y."
A soundtrack containing hip hop, R&B, funk and punk rock was released on July 15, 1997 by Capitol Records. It peaked at 101 on the Billboard 200 and 65 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. It features the single "All I Want" by 702, which reached number thirty-five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Aladdin published a children's novel, Good Burger 2 Go, as a sequel to the film. The book, written by Steve Holland, featured Ed following a short-changed customer around the globe. On September 23, 2015, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell made a "Good Burger" sketch for a reunion on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. On March 5, 2018, Mitchell said there were talks on a Good Burger 2 in the moment. On December 13, 2018, he and Thompson stated they are open for a potential sequel or reboot.
In December 2021, the director of the film and current CEO of Paramount Pictures, Brian Robbins revealed he want to create an animated series based on Good Burger for the Paramount+ streaming service, and hopes to have Thompson and Mitchell involved at some capacity. Mitchell expressed an interest in reviving Good Burger, due to his youngest son being a fan of the film. In August 2022, shortly after receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Thompson confirmed that he and Mitchell are working on the sequel. During the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards where Thompson served as host, the duo once again hinted the sequel after performing a skit with Kumail Nanjiani.
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- Henry, Jason (July 28, 2014). "Showtime's 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' pilot might boost West Covina's coffers". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
- Hettrick, Scott; Honeycutt, Kirk (February 17, 1998). "'Good Burger' video bad, with R-rated trailers". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 6, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016 – via Highbeam Research.
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- "Weekend box office 13th February 1998 - 15th February 1998". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
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- Good Burger (1997) - Metacritic
- Alspector, Lisa (26 October 1985). "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. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
- Ebert, Roger. "Good Burger movie review & film summary (1997) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com/. Retrieved 2021-02-15.
- Rabin, Nathan (29 September 2015). "Does Good Burger Deserve Cult Status?". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
- Eckerle, Courtney (6 September 2011). "Best-Worst Movies: 'Good Burger'". The Observer. Notre Dame, Indiana. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
- Aquino, Tara (6 April 2016). "11 Delicious Facts About Good Burger". Mental Floss. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
- Steve., Holland (1998). Good Burger 2 go. Schneider, Dan., Nickelodeon (Firm). New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 0671023993. OCLC 40131454.
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- "'Good Burger 2' Talks Are Happening Confirms Kel Mitchell". Movieweb. 2018-03-05. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
- Good Burger 2 might happen
- "Brian Robbins Wants to Bring Back 'Good Burger' as a Animated Series".
- "From actor to pastor: What inspired former Nickelodeon star Kel Mitchell's career shift". Today.com.
- "Kenan Thompson Hints at a Good Burger Sequel with Kel Mitchell (Extended) | the Tonight Show". YouTube.