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 1997, it was released worldwide on July 25, 1997, by Paramount Pictures. The film grossed $23.7 million against a budget of $8.5 million.
|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|
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 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, Dexter decides to take a summer job. 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. There, he meets and reluctantly befriends the dimwitted and absent-minded cashier Ed alongside its other employees. Initially, neither of them are 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. As they continue working together, Dexter realizes that Ed was the one who caused his 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, Good Burger is saved by a new secret sauce created by Ed. 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. Dexter then tells Ed not to tell the sauce recipe to anyone.
Ed's sauce vastly increases Good Burger's sales but draws the attention of Kurt, who wants it for Mondo Burger. After failing to lure Ed there at a higher wage, Kurt sends an employee named Roxanne to seduce him into revealing the sauce recipe. As a result, she is repeatedly injured by his clumsiness and ultimately quits her job.
When a dog refuses to eat a discarded Mondo Burger in favor of a discarded Good Burger, Ed and Dexter become suspicious and decide to investigate. They infiltrate Mondo Burger's kitchen and discover that their burgers are artificially enhanced with Triampathol, an illegal food chemical. Kurt discovers them and calls an acquaintance named Wade, who has them committed to an asylum called Demented Hills so that they cannot tell anybody else about this.
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 causing Kurt to commit him to Demented Hills as well. After he 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 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, 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 it was not empty when he found it. Mondo Burger then begins to collapse, as the burgers begin to explode due to the overuse of 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 using the illegal Triampathol and contaminating Good Burger's sauce. Dexter tears up the contract with Ed and tells him that he 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
Filming for Good Burger took place from March 9 to April 1997. Most of its scenes were recorded along Glendora Avenue in West Covina, California including at a restaurant currently known as "Peter's El Loco".
The Action League Now! episode "Rock-a-Big Baby" was released prior to screenings of the film.
Paramount Home Video released the film on VHS on February 17, 1998, and on DVD on May 27, 2003. 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.
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 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 34% based on 41 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.
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- Koch, Neal (December 1, 2002). "Business; Stepping Up in TV, Without Stepping on Toes". The New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
- "Good Burger (1997) - Box Office Mojo".
- Dutta, Nishitha (January 9, 2021). "Where Was Good Burger Filmed?". Cinemaholic. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
- 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. Retrieved June 6, 2016 – via Highbeam Research.
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- "Good Burger Blu-ray". Blu-ray.com. 7 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
- Steve., Holland (1998). Good Burger 2 go. Schneider, Dan., Nickelodeon (Firm). New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 0671023993. OCLC 40131454.
- Holland, Steve; Schneider, Dan (1998). Good Burger 2 Go. ISBN 0671023993.
- "'Good Burger 2' Talks Are Happening Confirms Kel Mitchell". Movieweb. 2018-03-05. Retrieved 2020-01-07.
- Good Burger 2 might happen
- "Weekend box office 13th February 1998 - 15th February 1998". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
- "Good Burger (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
- Good Burger (1997) - Metacritic
- 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. 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.
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