Flashback Review: Good Burger

In 1994, Nickelodeon aired a sketch comedy developed by Dan Schneider (Drake & Josh, ICarly, Victorious) called, “All That.” The show is basically a kids version of Saturday Night Live (SNL for short) typically beginning with a “cold opening,” a featured guest promoting his/her movie or television series, kid actors participate in various sketches, before an episode ends, a musical guest performs a song. The show’s early seasons introduced us to Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell & Amanda Bynes. Both Kenan & his buddy Kel went on to star in their show known as “Kenan & Kel” before Drake & Josh came along. The latter starred in her own series called, “The Amanda Show.” All That spanned a course of ten seasons ranging from 1994-2005. By the way, later seasons introduce Britney Spears’ younger sister Jamie-Lynn prior to becoming a laughing stock resulting in an unexpected pregnancy at the age of 16.

Several sketches were popular including Superdude, Repairman, Ask Ashley, The Loud Librarian, Vital Information, Good Burger & my personal favorite, Know Your Stars. All That’s signature sketch is none other than Good Burger. The sketch involves Ed, a buffoonish cashier who’s personality is a cross between Drax from Guardians Of The Galaxy & Jeff Spicoli from Fast Times At Ridgemont High. In a certain sketch, his stupidity causes him to endure hilarious situations.

As the show gained popularity from younger audiences and families from across the globe, Nickelodeon proposed an idea to develop a film based on Good Burger with Kel Mitchell reprising his role as Ed alongside his fellow castmate and good friend Kenan Thompson. What we’ve got is the movie based on All That is Good Burger.

Good Burger was released in 1997. It received negative reviews from critics. Despite bad reception from critics such as Doug Walker/Nostalgia Critic who did a review on it, the film somehow managed to make enough money at the box office.

The following review contains important SPOILERS. Does the movie still impressed me as a kid, or will it give me a bad case of visual atherosclerosis? Let’s begin shall we?

Good & Bad/Ugly Elements

Now that Kenan Thompson earned his Emmy nomination on SNL for the upcoming 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, I’d like to present you fellow 90’s Kids/90’s Babies his onscreen performance in Good Burger related to a nostalgic show that I used to watch all the time. By the way, Kenan made a milestone in SNL history as the longest running cast member spanning 15 Years.

Good: Kenan Thompson & Kel Mitchell both did a good job for their performances.

Besides the duo, Sinbad & Ave Vigoda (The Godfather, Barney Miller) also did an ok job for their performances.

A few jokes managed to give me a laugh such as Ed literally watching his butt.

Dexter uses Kenan’s former catchphrase, “WHY?!” It was used in Kenan & Kel.

Dexter said, “She’s all that!” Which means Kenan actually title drops the show.

Mondo Burger is a parody of Planet Hollywood. Plus, Good Burger’s business competitor predates “The Heart Attack Grill.”

Carmen Electra makes an early appearance as “Ed’s date.”

Linda Cardellini also makes an early appearance before she made it big in Freaks & Geeks.

Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neil makes a cameo appearance. If he was promoting Steel, I would’ve Double Down this pro as a con for remembering an abomination.

The film predicted Plankton’s plan to steal the Krabby Patty secret formula from Spongebob Squarepants. Kurt who’s the villain of the film, attempted to steal Ed’s secret sauce. Before we had Spongebob, Ed was the prototype of Nickelodeon’s beloved mascot. Both of them are bumbling goofballs who are oblivious to reality.

The Burgermobile predicted Spongebob & Patrick’s car from The Spongebob Squarepants Movie.

Bad/Ugly: A Dream Sequence with Ed seeing burgers coming to life felt kinda disturbing than Sausage Party. Is it me or did Dan hired Snoop Dogg to come up with an opening scene as a script doctor? If so, I wouldn’t be surprised for Nickeloaden pulling a wild card prior to Coolio providing the theme song from Kenan & Kel.

The actor who plays Kurt did a horrendous job for his performance. He’s like a generic brand of Neil Patrick Harris lacking experience and most important, comedic timing.

Is it me or does the Mondo Burger uniforms predate the costumes from Fan4Stic? You know that god awful Fantastic Four reboot?

Dan Schneider appears as Ed’s manager, Mr. Baily. There are two reasons why he’s on “The Bad/Ugly Route.” One, he recycles jokes, plot devices and other kinds of junk that used to be funny are now unfunny using a laugh track to force the audience to laugh. Two, he got booted out by Nickelodeon for acting kinda creepy. I’ll assume that Dan wanted to write and act for this is film is because he has a big appetite when comes to eating free food on set.

While Ed is racing his way to work, nobody other than Ed don’t know how to take an order or organize a cash register. I used to work at Jack N’ The Box and nobody wasn’t lazy. As former employee, I happen to see a different employee taking over a shift.

This movie is inconsistent for example, After Ed wakes up from his nightmare, why the heck is he still wearing the exact same uniform? He wears it about 90 percent of the entire movie. Don’t believe me? He showers while still wearing it, a scene later, his clothes are fresh and clean. When he gets himself a date unlike Dexter, he doesn’t wear a casual outfit.

Sinbad stated that his car costs $22,000 for repair. Cut to an auto repair scene with Kenan holding a receipt shouting, “$1,900?!” Screenwriting 101, double check the script if you want to stick to continuity.

A poorly written line is used as Ed compares the difference between burgers the rival company and the one he works at, Ed looks at them saying, “They sound similar.” Actually he means, “They don’t look similar.”

I know this is based on All That’s famous sketch, but how is Ed an eligible employee by acting like an obnoxious moron towards his co-workers, customers and his manager. Nobody complained about him putting grapes on his nose singing “Bloopity Bloopity Bloopity.”

Dan Schindler’s character Mr. Baily, gives Ed his paycheck, then hugs him. I find that kinda disturbing now that I understand why Nickelodeon kicked him out by hugging stars offset such as Amanda Bynes, Jaime-Lynn Spears, Miranda Cosgrove, Victoria Justice & Ariana Grande. OH MY GOODNESS! Dan is a cross between Marvel’s Kingpin & Roark Jr. from Sin City? If you’ve seen Sin City, it’s very disturbing. I finally realized why Amanda became the Cocoa Puffs mascot! What the hell have you done Dan!

In order to infiltrate Mondo Burger, Ed & Dexter disguise themselves in drag. The employees at first, never batted an eye on them. A latex mask from any Mission Impossible film is more convincing than those two!

When Mondo Burger employees break-in to plant poison in Ed’s sauce, Abe Vigoda randomly pops up out of nowhere and the bad guys commit him to the insane asylum where Ed & Dexter are falsely committed. Then, Abe tells them about Mondo Burger’s evil scheme. I find this plot point contrived. How does an employee easily fall asleep before he/she checks out?

As our heroes try to find a way to escape the asylum, Ed formulates a plan to distract the guards and encourages various patients to dance which looks like a carbon copy of any Michael Jackson music video. To put salt in the wound, the guards also dance. In real life, it’ll never work if someone attempts to escape. Imagine if Heath Ledger’s Joker immediately break dances by fooling Commissioner Gordon or his deputies? Did he do that in The Dark Knight? The answer is NO!

Kurt’s grand master plan is using an illegal chemical that could possibly endanger customers. It didn’t matter if our heroes won, Kurt might’ve lost from various lawsuits resulting in the fall of Mondo Burger crumbling to the ground.

Annoying cartoon like sound effects are used occasionally.

As Mondo Burger was under the brink of destruction, an extra or two never felt terrified when you’re suppose to react to an earthquake or hurricane.

The film ends with a recycled shot from the opening scene. There’s no variation or subversion, all I see is lazy editing.

Product Placement featuring brands including Coca-Cola, GMC & Blockbuster. I’m afraid I have let this con slide for not implanting too many brands inside my brain.

The Final Verdict: D-

Good Burger is a precursor to The Last Airbender before M. Night tarnished a beloved animated series. Nickelodeon’s attempt to turn a film based on a sketch comedy, didn’t translate pretty well on the big screen. The cons I’ve listed as Bad/Ugly, (a reference to Quentin Tarantino’s favorite film “The Good, The Bad & The Ugly”) indicates why it is a nonsensical comedy lacking intelligence relying only on stupidity. If you want to watch an actual descent film from Nickelodeon’s filmography, go watch The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, Rango or anything that won’t make you feel stupid.

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