Ed: Welcome to Goodburger, home of the good burger can I take your order?
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
With the new All That reboot being quite the buzz among Nickelodeon fans, I think it’s best to look back upon the cinematic project that came from one its well known sketches, Good Burger, starring Kel Mitchell as the dumb but good natured fast food worker Ed. Well in 1997 we got a movie with the same name. It’s a dumb product of the times but it’s an enjoyable kind of dumb.
The story involves Ed (Kel Mitchell) and his new friend Dexter (Kenan Thompson) who fight to keep up the Good Burger restaurant open when a rival restaurant called Mondo Burger opens up across the street run by the villainous Kurt (Jan Schweiterman).
The premise for the movies has the classic 80s trope of the small guy trying to take on the big corporation. Mondo Burger is the big corporation in this as it has all she shiny and new technology and the bigger burgers. It’s simplistic but in fairness of the movie, the plot is not the main core here. Its comedy is very much stoner comedy in many of its gags but it ‘s very well in working within its confines. Stuff that wouldn’t be funny and making it so bizarre in a way that can get a legitimate laugh.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this movie is the overall character of Ed. Mitchell does well in delivering the jokes of him twisting the words of those he’s talking to. At the same time, he does it in a way that doesn’t feel annoying. The way Ed interacts with people is just so pleasant in how friendly he is to even the villains. His delivery just has so much charm and likability and it makes his character just one of a kind rather than just an idiot character. Even though Thompson plays an entirely different character than he did from All That, him and Mitchell share such chemistry in their friendship that it almost doesn’t matter. The one-liners they have are unique and make the movie memorable. Outside of the chemistry between the mains the movie also has minor roles and cameos by Sinbad, Shaq, Linda Cardellini, Carmen Electra, Abe Vigoda, etc. all of whom give the movie small moments of charm that is largely a product of the times. Then there’s the villainous Kurt and Schweiterman does do well in hamming it up to the point that his dialogue does get a laugh.
Not every joke works. Gags like Ed shoving grapes up his nose, him inside the milkshake machine, Ed rollerblading his way to work, Dexter and his teacher arguing over a damaged car can either drag on or are far too simple in their humor for anyone under than little kids to enjoy and no doubt adult audiences will find this humor grating. But once again it goes back to the core likability of the two mains. But unless you’ve actually seen All That, gags like these not going to have much appeal.
Good Burger is largely a time capsule of the 90s. It’s downright stupid, not the most intelligent for an adult audience, and not every joke hits but the mains deliver so much of an pleasant charm to it that keep the movie from becoming horrible. If you’re a 90s kid, particularly a 90s Nickelodeon kid, this is something you can definitely look at fondly. Even if you’re not however, you can have some understanding of the comedy 90s kids grew up with and maybe even get a respect for it.