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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian Robbins|
|Produced by||Mike Tollin
|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 Nickelodeon Movies and Tollin/Robbins Productions, and was 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. With the damages estimated at $1,900, Dexter is forced to get a summer job. After being fired from a job at Mondo Burger for insulting the manager, Kurt Bozwell (Jan Schweiterman), 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.
Things take a turn for the worse when a new Mondo Burger location opens across the street from Good Burger, its fancy decor and oversized burgers threatening to close down the smaller restaurant. Fortunately, Good Burger is saved by the invention of a secret sauce made by Ed. Upon learning from Mr. Wheat that the true damages from the car accident exceed the original $1,900 estimate, Dexter takes advantage of Ed 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.
Ed's sauce is a huge success and vastly improves Good Burger's business, but draws the attention of Kurt Bozwell who attempts to obtain the sauce for Mondo Burger. After failing to lure Ed away from Good Burger for a higher hourly wage at Mondo Burger, Kurt sends Roxanne (Carmen Electra) to seduce Ed into giving her the recipe for the sauce, but to no avail.
When a dog refuses to eat a discarded Mondo Burger instead of a Good Burger, Ed and Dexter become suspicious and decide to investigate. Disguised as fashionable women, the two infiltrate Mondo Burger's kitchen and discover that their burgers are being artificially enhanced with Triampathol, an illegal chemical; Kurt kidnaps them, and calls a man named Wade who has them committed to an asylum called Demented Hills so they won't tell the public.
Threatened by the success of Ed's sauce, Kurt breaks into Good Burger after hours and taints Ed's secret sauce with shark poison, but is confronted by Otis (Abe Vigoda), an elderly Good Burger employee who was sleeping on the premises, leading him to commit Otis to Demented Hills as well. After informing Ed and Dexter about Kurt's scheme, the three of them manage to escape Demented Hills 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. 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 ensues in the Mondo Burger building; 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, with an artificial burger destroying Mr. Wheat's newly repaired car as well. Dexter also tears up the contract he formed with Ed and tells him that he gets to keep all the profits from his sauce. Ed and Dexter then walk back to Good Burger where they are both praised by the other employees as heroes for saving Good Burger.
- Kenan Thompson as Dexter Reed, a sixteen-year-old high school student who desires to slack during his summer vacation.
- Kel Mitchell as Ed, the inept, but well-meaning teen cashier of Good Burger.
- Abe Vigoda as Otis, an elderly Good Burger employee who cooks working as the fryer and also gets caught up in some of Ed and Dexter's adventures.
- 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, Dexter's teacher who demands money from him 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 who is 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, 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.
- Floyd Levine as Ice cream man
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.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $7.1 million, finishing #5 at the box head. It went on to gross $23.7 million. The film was released in the United Kingdom on February 13, 1998, and only managed to reach #14.
Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 32%, based on reviews from thirty eight critics, along with the consensus reading, "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."
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."
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 Good Burger on DVD on September 24, 2013.
The DVD releases lack special features. The film has not been released on Blu-ray yet, unlike most of the films from Nickelodeon. The only official HD version of the film 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
- "Weekend box office 13th February 1998 - 15th February 1998". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
- "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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