Good Burger

USA - 1997

Movie Review By Heather Clisby

"Good Burger", the new film from Paramount Pictures and Nickoleon Movies, offers a steady diet of fast food entertainment. Directed by Brian Robbins, this kid-level comedy takes small bites and ultimately satisfies.

Meet Ed, played with pure nuttiness by Kel Mitchell, who not only works the counter at Good Burger, it is his life. The striped uniform, paper hat and the 'I'm Ed' nametag just don't come off. As Shaquille O'Neal -- doing a brief cameo as himself -- observes, "You're just not like other people, are you?"

Dexter, played by Kenan Thompson, is less enthused about his Good Burger delivery job and more interested in making big money. Thompson's Dean Martin character works well with Mitchell's Jerry Lewis; we also see a young David Allan Grier in many of Thompson's expressions.

Sinbad is Mr. Wheat, the Afro-wearing high school teacher with a penchant for Seventies fashions that never made it back through the retro swing… for good reason. Another delight is the surprising presence of Abe Vigoda, playing Otis, the 77-year-old fry cook who never expected to live so long and thus, never made it out of fast food.

With the presence of Mondo Burger -- a high-tech monster chain opening up across the street -- it becomes your basic good vs. evil plot deep-fried in slapstick. Led by the detestable Kurt, Mondo Burger threatens to put Good Burger out of business, that is, until Ed's Special Sauce saves the day.

When Kurt tries to ply the recipe from Ed using financial bribery and sexual ploys, he fails miserably because Ed is such a pure source of innocence and joy, he misses the point entirely.

"Good Burger" is an excellent film for kids and can be refreshing for adults as well. Without using computer animation, big stars or exploding buildings, "Good Burger" is old-fashioned in its' approach to entertainment, almost vaudevillian. This movie is perfect for the insufferable film snob who likes to find double meaning in the slightest details. If this is you, consider "Good Burger" straight detox.

© 1997 • Heather Clisby • Air Date: 7/97

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