It is difficult to convert a skit from a television show into a full length movie. For proof, see the countless Saturday Night Live spinoffs, or, if you dare, Good Burger. Derived from the popular sketch on Nickelodeon’s All That, Good Burger fails miserably.
The movie follows the fast food war between two burger joints. Good Burger is the local favorite, but the huge behemoth Mondo Burger moves in across the street. So you won’t confuse this with a plodding drama, the burgers (and various condiments) will literally fly, explode, and coat everything and everyone possible.
Ed (Kel Mitchell) is Good Burger’s loyal counter guy. Good Burger is his life (he wears his serving hat everywhere). However, Ed is stupid. Extremely stupid. After watching him, you would willingly admit Forrest Gump and Karl Childers to a MENSA meeting. About 95% of the movie’s jokes are based on either Ed’s literal interpretation of the world around him, his sheer stupidity, or his mindless devotion to his job.
Dexter (Kenan Thompson), by comparison, is a schemer. Forced to get a summer job to pay off a debt, he lands at Good Burger. He loathes having to work, and will do anything to make a quick buck…and Ed looks like the perfect rube. However, Dexter does have a soft side, and soon he and Ed are friends.
However, things aren’t going well on the burger war front. Mondo Burger’s burgers are twice as big at the same price, and Good Burger’s loyal customer base just ain’t that loyal. To top it off, Mondo Burger’s owner Kurt is an obnoxious proto-fascist. Ed and Dexter must think hard and fast to figure out a way to save Good Burger from ruin.
At least as far as Good Burger, the film, is concerned. It does provide the occassional laugh with its Airplane-esque humor, but while they may be enough to fill a short skit, they can’t carry this 100 minute movie. Some of the film’s mindless humor might be enough to pacify the films pre-teen audience, but let all others beware.
Kenan and Kel’s acting is repetitive, and one-note. Again, just what you would expect for a short skit: broadly drawn caricatures with little or no detail. They get no help from the supporting crew (a diverse bunch which includes Abe Vigoda, Sinbad, and Dan Schneider). And the countless cameos (from the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Robert Wuhl) seem wasted.
You may go into the film expecting a big, beefy burger. But unless you’re a diehard fan, you’ll end up with a limp, lukewarm, tasteless patty.