[Screen It]


(1997) (Kel Mitchell, Kenan Thompson) (PG)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
None Minor Mild None None
Moderate None None Minor Minor
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Minor None Minor Minor Mild

Comedy: Two young men try to save the burger joint they work for from the corporate competition that has moved in across the street.
Ed (KEL MITCHELL) is a high school student who works the counter at Good Burger, a longstanding burger joint. Not too quick on the uptake, Ed sees and reacts to everything at face value. Dexter (KENAN THOMPSON) is also a high school student who's looking forward to his summer vacation. That's short-lived, however, when Ed inadvertently causes Dexter to crash into a car owned by his teacher, Mr. Wheat (SINBAD). Rather then being reported to the police for driving without a license, Dexter gets a job at Good Burger to pay for the car repairs. That establishment's future is uncertain, though, since Mondo Burger, a corporate restaurant, has moved in across the street. Owned by Kurt Bozwell (JAN SCHWEITERMAN), a dictator-like boss, Mondo plans to wipe out the competition by offering bigger burgers than Good Burger. Ed, Dexter, and other workers such as Otis (ABE VIGODA) and Monique (SHAR JACKSON) think they might be out of jobs, but that's before the discovery of Ed's secret sauce. Tasty and delicious, the sauce makes Good Burger just as popular as Mondo. From that point on, the boys work to defeat Mondo and to insure Good Burger's success.
It's geared for younger audience members, and those familiar with the Nickelodeon skit from which this is based, just might.
Rated PG for language, some comic violence and mild sex-related humor.
  • KEL MITCHELL plays a well-meaning and good-natured character whose behavior may be irritating to some parents.
  • KENAN THOMPSON plays a somewhat typical teen who'd rather be on summer vacation than work. He does take advantage of Ed for money, and drives his mother's car without permission or a license.


    OUR TAKE: 3.5 out of 10
    Based on a skit seen on the TV show "All That" on the Nickelodeon network, "Good Burger" is obviously aimed at the younger kids in the audience as much of the plot and characters are rather juvenile in nature. Whether you'll enjoy this movie is probably based on your age (the young will love it, while adults most likely won't) and your threshold for finding humor in rather inane subjects and behaviors. Kids will probably enjoy seeing Ed spin around and around trying to watch his butt after someone tells him to, and will like his general gee-whiz, dim-witted approach to life. Others might find all of that terribly irritating, and it just depends on what you find funny. Playing off the tradition of Jethro Bodine (from the TV show "The Beverly Hillbillies"), Jeff Spicoli (from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"), and many other slow characters, Kel Mitchell is occasionally funny, but runs the fine line of looking more like an idiot than a classic comic buffoon. As a matter of fact, the entire movie is in that same boat, but one must remember that it's aimed at younger kids who can more easily and willingly accept the material. Obviously, the film won't appeal to older teens or adults -- as does "George of the Jungle" -- and thus will probably find itself on a quick trip to the video shelves of your local rental store. While at times it does generate a laugh (from the adults), it's not a great movie and certainly never tries to be clever (like "George" so successfully does). We give "Good Burger" a 3.5 out of 10.
    There's a short stop motion animated film preceding the feature (that may or may not play in your area). It's about some toy characters, a KISS concert (with action figures of those band members), and a giant baby doll that wreaks havoc on them. The phrases "Schmo," "Jerk," and "Punk" are heard as is a minor amount of suspenseful music. The baby doll (acting like King Kong) derails a toy train and smashes several other toys and a toy car with toys inside is run over by a steamroller.

    As far as the feature, there's nothing really major to object to. There is a great deal of behavior that may prove to be imitative, but most of it's relatively harmless as is most of the violence that occurs. Mainly played for laughs, most of it's in the slapstick variety although there are a few meanspirited incidents here and there. A woman is sent to seduce Ed, and dressed in a tightly fitting, short dress, she says a few suggestive lines that will go over most younger kids heads and older kids have probably heard far worse. Overall, this is a rather tame film, but you should examine the content to determine how appropriate it is for your kids.

  • None.
  • While not really either, a short order cook smashes a fly on his head with a spatula and then eats the fly and licks the spatula (that many kids and adults will find gross).
  • Dexter has borrowed his mom's car and is driving it although he's not old enough to have a license.
  • Kurt has both toward anyone in the way of Mondo World's success. For example, he and his men put "shark poison" into Ed's sauce to ruin their success. He's also demeaning to his workers and to others.
  • Kurt (who's white) calls Ed (who's black), "bro."
  • Dexter has both as he takes advantage of Ed and gets him to sign a contract giving Dexter most of the money made from Ed's recipe.
  • The guys are taken to a mental asylum, and while they don't make fun of the patients, the movie does as it portrays them in goofy ways (one eating playing cards, another licking a ping pong paddle, etc...).
  • Ed, Dexter, and Otis steal an ice cream truck to escape from a mental asylum.
  • None.
  • None.
  • Phrases: "Shut up," "Maggot," "Loser," "Geez," "Jerk," "Idiot," "You must really suck," "Stupid," "Pukes" (used as a noun), "Dip thong," "Punk," "Sucks," and "Kooks" (for mentally ill people).
  • Some kids may imitate Ed's general dim-witted and goofy behavior.
  • Ed showers in his work outfit and later is seen inside the milkshake machine.
  • Ed accidentally grabs an infant while rollerblading who then is blindly substituted for a basketball and is shot through the hoop. While the baby is caught and is unharmed, some children might get the wrong idea about doing this with younger kids.
  • Dexter has borrowed his mom's car and is driving it although he's not old enough to have a license.
  • A short order cook smashes a fly on his head with a spatula and then eats the fly and licks the spatula.
  • Ed erratically drives down the road, through stop signs and through a barricaded street.
  • Kurt tells Ed to "watch your butt" and Ed then tries to do just that and spins around like a dog chasing its tail.
  • Ed puts fries up his nose, then grapes, and tries to put a fry through his head via his ear, and then eats that fry.
  • Ed pulls out Roxanne's chair (like a gentleman would), but times it wrong and she crashes to the floor.
  • Kurt and his men put "shark poison" into Ed's sauce to ruin their success.
  • After a large mental patient tosses Dexter through a second story window to the ground below, both Ed and Otis jump out as well, and none of them are hurt after doing this.
  • Ed climbs on top of a truck, jumps onto a building, and then climbs up and then down into a smokestack and Dexter follows him.
  • None.
  • None.
  • A song contains the phrase, "Feel my desire" (and is played while Roxanne tries to seduce Ed).
  • 1 ass, 1 crap, and 1 incomplete "What the...." used as exclamations.
  • After Kurt tells Dexter and other workers that from now on he'll be both their mother and father, Dexter comments, "You must look pretty funny naked."
  • Dexter tells Ed that Kurt is just trying to "use" him. Ed then says, "That's not natural" (perhaps a homosexual reference).
  • Roxanne, a shapely woman in a tightfitting, short dress, tries to seduce Ed for his secret sauce recipe. When she enters Good Burger, Otis stares at her butt. She then tells Ed, "You're so hot" and "I am hungry, but not for food. I'm hungry for you." Later she tells him, "I'll give you anything you want" in exchange for the recipe.
  • Dexter and Ed are briefly dressed like women (to sneak into Mondo Burger) and Kurt's men yank their dresses off, revealing Ed wearing lingerie (a teddy).
  • None.
  • Dexter briefly talks about his father leaving him and his mother when Dexter was seven, and that he can't remember what he looks like.
  • That making fun of the mentally ill isn't funny (the guys are taken to a mental asylum and while they don't make fun, the movie does).
  • Ed accidentally knocks down a girl who's jumping rope and then drags her behind him with her head bouncing on the sidewalk. Later he knocks down Otis.
  • Dexter loses control of his mother's car and crashes into Mr. Wheat's car. Moments later, Mr. Wheat tosses Dexter around as he's upset about the wreck.
  • There are several instances where different vehicles run over Mr. Wheat's mailbox.
  • Dexter knocks down Ed to prevent him from revealing the recipe to his secret sauce.
  • Kurt knees a subordinate, causing him to fall to the floor.
  • Kurt smashes his TV set after seeing a story about Good Burger.
  • Ed pulls out Roxanne's chair (like a gentleman would), but times it wrong and she crashes to the floor.
  • Dexter accidentally stomps down on Roxanne's foot while trying to stop Ed from giving out his recipe.
  • Ed swings back a miniature golf club that accidentally hits Roxanne in the face. The ball he hits then ricochets and also hits her in the head, knocking her out.
  • Ed slams on the brakes while driving and Roxanne's head slams into the dashboard.
  • When Roxanne tries to kiss Ed, he thinks she's trying to attack him and he flips her over onto the sidewalk.
  • There are sounds of violence (things crashing, etc...) after Ed lets lose a large man from his straight jacket.
  • As Dexter dances in a mental asylum, he hits one guard in the gut and another in the groin. He then knocks them down by elbowing both of them in the face.
  • A large mental patient throws Dexter through a second story window (after being asked to help open the window), but he's okay.
  • Several cars wreck while the guys elude guards who are chasing them.
  • Ed knocks a woman to the floor to stop her from eating a poisoned hamburger.
  • Explosions rock Mondo Burger as burgers blow up and pieces of the building collapse.

  • Reviewed July 22, 1997

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