Good Burger

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Good Burger
Good Burger film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBrian Robbins
Written by
Based onGood Burger
by Dan Schneider
Kevin Kopelow
Heath Seifert
Produced by
Starring
CinematographyMac Ahlberg
Edited byAnita Brandt-Burgoyne
Music byStewart Copeland
Production
companies
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • July 25, 1997 (1997-07-25)[1]
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$8.5 million[2]
Box office$23.7 million[3]

Good Burger is a 1997 American comedy film directed by Brian Robbins and written by Dan Schneider, Kevin Kopelow, and Heath Seifert. Starring Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson, 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 of 1997, it was released worldwide on July 25, 1997, by Paramount Pictures.[1] The film grossed $23.7 million against a budget of $8.5 million.

Plot[edit]

Good Burger is a small, but popular burger joint, with the kind and enthusiastic, but dimwitted Ed, manning the cash register, greeting customers with his trademark "Welcome to Good Burger! Home of the Good Burger. Can I take your order?". However the restaurant is soon to face serious competition from a bigger burger chain named Mondo Burger, soon to open accross the street. One day, Ed has to temporarily fill in on deliveries, and he sets off on his rollerblades to make one.

On the first day of summer, slacker high school student Dexter Reed takes his mother's car on a joyride, without permission, while she is away on a business trip, prepared to enjoy a lazy summer. However, Ed, while making his delivery blades right in front of Dexter, causing him to swerve, and then crash into the car of his eccentric teacher, Mr. Wheat. Dexter is forced to reveal he has neither a driver's license nor car insurance, but Mr. Wheat agrees to let Dexter pay for the damage to his car, in lieu of pressing charges. With the damage estimated at $1,900 (later revealed to be $2,500), Dexter has no choice but to take a summer job.

Dexter takes a job at Mondo Burger, but is fired after two days, for clashing with the egotistical owner and manager, Kurt Bozwell. Dexter then ends up taking a job Good Burger, making deliveries and helping with counterwork, where he meets and reluctantly befriends Ed alongside its other employees. Dexter later recognizes Ed as the one who caused his accident, and is initially furious, but eventually forgives him.

The grand opening of Mondo Burger, with its flashy interior and exterior design, and oversized burgers makes Good Burger's future seem bleak. Just as all hope seems lost, Dexter discovers Ed has a secret sauce with a delicious taste, but an unknown recipie, and suggests Ed use it on Good Burgers. The addition of the new Ed's sauce to the menu, brings business back to Good Burger, and Ed is given a bonus. Dexter then takes advantage of Ed's gullibility to extort money from him so that he can pay off his debt sooner, and has him sign a contract that gives Dexter 80% of Ed's bonus. Dexter then warns Ed not to tell the sauce recipe to anyone, especially anyone at Mondo Burger.

Good Burger's continued business despite the competition draws the attention of Kurt, who will stop at nothing to destroy them. When he sees Dexter and Ed on TV, serving Shaquille O'Neill a Good Burger, he becomes determined to get Ed's sauce for Mondo Burger. After failing to lure Ed there at a higher wage, Kurt orders Mondo Burgers be made even bigger than before, and sends an employee named Roxanne to seduce him into revealing the sauce recipe. Dexter and Roxanne go on a double date with Dexter and Monique, another Good Burger employee whom Dexter has a crush on. However Ed, unwittingly causes injury to Roxanne with his clumsiness, and she does not get the recipie, and ultimately quits her job.

Monique later discovers Dexter's contract with Ed, and calls him out on it. Dexter feels guilty, and starts to confess to Ed, when a hungry dog approaches them. It refuses to eat a discarded Mondo Burger in favor of a discarded, (but smaller) Good Burger, making Ed and Dexter suspicious, and the two decide to investigate. They infiltrate Mondo Burger's kitchen and discover that their burgers are artificially enhanced with Triampathol, an illegal food chemical, to make them bigger. Kurt discovers the two, and when Ed still refuses to divulge the sauce recipie, Kurt calls an acquaintance named Wade, who has Dexter and Ed committed to an asylum called Demented Hills so that they cannot tell anybody else about the Triampathol.

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 is prepared to call the police, but Kurt has him comitted to Demented Hills as well. After Otis informs Ed and Dexter about Kurt's scheme, the three hatch a plan, to escape from Demented Hills. With help from some other patients, the three escape, and hijack an ice cream truck to head back to Good Burger, arriving just in time to prevent anyone from eating the poisoned sauce. They warn the rest of Good Burger of Mondo Burger's attempted sabotage, and advise them to call the police.

Ed and Dexter then break into Mondo Burger to expose their chemically-altered burgers 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, Ed pours several cans into the grinder. As Kurt corners Dexter on the roof, Ed suddenly arrives with an empty can. Kurt mocks Ed's actions, whereupon Ed snidely comments to Dexter that the can was not empty when he found it. The burgers begin to explode due to the overuse of Triampathol, causing Mondo Burger to rumble, and fall apart, as customers and employees evacuate the premises. Mr. Wheat arrives in his newly repaired car, but dismisses the commotion as a shift change, just in time for a large artificial burger to from the roof and smashe his car, much to his dismay and Dexter's amusement.

In the aftermath, Mondo Burger is shut down and Kurt is arrested for using the illegal Triampathol and contaminating Good Burger's sauce. Ed explains to Dexter that their original plan, probably wouldn't have succeeded, and even if it did, it would only lead to a trial, giving Kurt ample time to destroy further evidence and hire lawyers to dispute all charges, thus nothing would be accomplished in any reasonable amount of time. Therefore, Ed took matters into his own hands, to let Mondo Burger be hoist by its own pertard. Dexter is amazed at Ed's hidden intelligence, and tears up the contract with Ed, telling him that Ed gets to keep all the profits from his sauce. They head back to Good Burger, where their coworkers give them a hero's welcome for saving the restaurant. Ed replies with his regular...

"Welcome to Good Burger! Home of the Good Burger. Can I take your order?"

Cast[edit]

  • Kel Mitchell as Ed, the kindhearted and simple minded teen cashier of Good Burger.
  • Kenan Thompson as Dexter Reed, a 16-year-old high school student who desires to slack off during his summer vacation. He has to take a summer job working in Good Burger to pay for his teacher Mr. Wheat's car repair and his mother's car.
  • Abe Vigoda as Otis, an elderly Good Burger employee who works as the fryer and also gets caught up in some of Ed and Dexter's adventures.
  • Jan Schweiterman as Kurt Bozwell, the main antagonist; the owner of Mondo Burger who will stop at nothing to make his food chain the #1 restaurant in the world.
  • Sinbad as Mr. Wheat, Dexter's accident-prone teacher
  • Shar Jackson as Monique, a Good Burger employee who becomes Dexter's girlfriend, but gets mad at him for cheating Ed out of his money.
  • Dan Schneider as Mr. Baily, the owner, and manager of Good Burger who is usually annoyed by Ed's antics.
  • 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 who is a vegetarian.
  • Linda Cardellini as Heather, an insane girl confined in Demented Hills 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 who unsuccessfully attempts to seduce Ed into telling his secret sauce recipe.
  • 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 whose extremely complex orders are too difficult for Ed to memorize.

Production[edit]

Filming for Good Burger took place from March 9 to April 1997.[4] Most of its scenes were recorded along Glendora Avenue in West Covina, California including at a restaurant currently known as "Peter's El Loco".[5]

Release[edit]

The Action League Now! episode "Rock-a-Big Baby" was released prior to screenings of the film.

Home media[edit]

Paramount Home Video released the film on VHS on February 17, 1998,[6] and on DVD on May 27, 2003.[7] Warner Home Video (who released Paramount titles on DVD and Blu-ray under license) reissued it on DVD on September 24, 2013. On August 29, 2017, Paramount re-released the DVD, as the Warner Home Video distribution deal has ended.

The DVD releases lack any special features. After many years, the film was released on Blu-ray on February 16, 2021.[8]

Potential sequels[edit]

Aladdin published a children's novel, Good Burger 2 Go, as a sequel to the film.[9] The book, written by Steve Holland, featured Ed following a short-changed customer around the globe.[10] 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.[11] On December 13, 2018, he and Thompson stated they are open for a potential sequel or reboot.[12]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

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.[3] It was released in the United Kingdom on February 13, 1998, where it only reached #14.[13]

Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 33% based on 40 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."[14] On Metacritic the film has a score of 41 out of 100 based on 17 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[15]

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."[16] 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."[17]

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."[18] 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."[19]

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."[20] Courtney Eckerle said "the 90s generation will never forget [this deliciously terrible movie]"[21] and Tara Aquino of Mental Floss called it "a silly cult hit that's indelibly a part of Generation Y."[22]

Soundtrack[edit]

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.

Literature[edit]

  • 1997: Joseph Locke: Good Burger: A Novelization, Pocket Books, ISBN 978-0671016920

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Good Burger". American Film Institute. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  2. ^ Koch, Neal (December 1, 2002). "Business; Stepping Up in TV, Without Stepping on Toes". The New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Good Burger (1997) - Box Office Mojo".
  4. ^ Dutta, Nishitha (January 9, 2021). "Where Was Good Burger Filmed?". Cinemaholic. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Tyner, Adam (June 5, 2003). "Good Burger". DVD Talk. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  8. ^ "Good Burger Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. 7 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  9. ^ Steve., Holland (1998). Good Burger 2 go. Schneider, Dan., Nickelodeon (Firm). New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 0671023993. OCLC 40131454.
  10. ^ Holland, Steve; Schneider, Dan (1998). Good Burger 2 Go. ISBN 0671023993.
  11. ^ "'Good Burger 2' Talks Are Happening Confirms Kel Mitchell". Movieweb. 2018-03-05. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
  12. ^ Good Burger 2 might happen
  13. ^ "Weekend box office 13th February 1998 - 15th February 1998". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  14. ^ "Good Burger (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  15. ^ Good Burger (1997) - Metacritic
  16. ^ Alspector, Lisa. "Good Burger". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
  17. ^ Seiler, Andy. "Good Burger". USA Today. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
  18. ^ Horst, Carole (1997-07-21). "Good Burger". Variety. Retrieved 2013-06-11.
  19. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Good Burger movie review & film summary (1997) | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com/. Retrieved 2021-02-15.
  20. ^ Rabin, Nathan (29 September 2015). "Does Good Burger Deserve Cult Status?". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  21. ^ Eckerle, Courtney (6 September 2011). "Best-Worst Movies: 'Good Burger'". The Observer. Notre Dame, Indiana. Retrieved 28 March 2017.
  22. ^ Aquino, Tara (6 April 2016). "11 Delicious Facts About Good Burger". Mental Floss. Retrieved 28 March 2017.

External links[edit]