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Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?

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.


Plot

The film opens with Ed waking up from a nightmare, making him late for work and rollerblading recklessly through town to get to Good Burger. Meanwhile, 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 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 (Ed was temporarily doing deliveries due to one former Good Burger employee who forgot to wear pants to work), 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 reconcile with him on a lunch break when Ed made Dexter laugh by sticking grapes in his nose.

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, ignores Dexter when he tells them when people are going to find out about the illegal chemical, and calls an acquaintance named Wade, who has them committed to an asylum called Demented Hills, where the people there lack any manners and Ed managed to accidentally free a strait-jacket pyschopath.

Afterward, Kurt and his henchmen break into Good Burger, find Ed's secret sauce, but instead of stealing it, they begin begin tainting it with a synthetic toxin called shark poison. Otis, an elderly employee who was sleeping on the premises, catches them red-handed. Otis tried to call the cops on them but not wanting prison to ruin Kurt's burger empire, he forbids Otis to and commits 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, sabotaging the Demented Hills staff from catching them by throwing ice cream on their windshield causing them to swerve and crash, and arriving just in time to prevent anyone from eating the poisoned sauce for which Ed had to tackle an old lady whose Good Burger had extra poisoned sauce in it.

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 (it turns out when a whole can of that stuff in food is over a cooker, it tends to explode). 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. Kurt tries to tell the police that Dexter and Ed are lying but they put him in the car before he had a chance to hurt them and taking a can of Triampathol (for evidence). Dexter managed to pay off the debt from Mr. Wheat but he tries to tell Dexter about getting the burger off his car. As the two walk away from the crowd, 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. The film ends with Ed saying his signature line: "Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger, can I take your order?" as the film fades to black.

Why it's Appetizing

  1. A lot of hilarious scenes. To avoid spoilers, you need to watch the film if you're interested.
  2. The characters are likeable and portrayed well. Ed is a dimwitted but funny protagonist, Dexter is a relatable 16-year-old, Otis is a nice comic-relief, and Kurt is a great villain.
  3. Good acting. Even for 90's standards.
  4. Funny dialogue similar to films like [1]Back to the Future and Home Alone.
  5. The book "Good Burger 2 Go" serves a great sequel to the film.
  6. The film resembles 90's culture very well.
  7. "I'm a dude, he's a dude, she's a dude, 'cause we're all dudes!"

Bad Qualities

  1. Some cringe moments. Like where Ed is sitting in the milkshake machine and where Ed and Dexter are dressed as old ladies,
  2. Some product placement. Such as Coca-Cola, Blockbuster Video, and UPN.
  3. Like some other films, it has a bad score on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite that, it's still a great film.

Reception

Box Office

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.

Critical Response

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."

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