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Review: 'Good Burger' medium-well-done fun for kids

movie scenes August 20, 1997
Web posted at: 1:22 p.m. EDT (1722 GMT)

From Reviewer Carol Buckland

(CNN) -- "Welcome to Good Burger. Home of the Good Burger. May I have your order please?"

If those deathless lines of dialogue are unfamiliar to you, you obviously aren't tuned in to Nickelodeon's "All That" series. This semi-juicy comedy flick is based on a continuing routine from that show. The transition from on-tube sketch to big screen feature has meant the addition of a lot of filler.

Some of it is tasty. Some takes a fair amount of chewing to swallow.

The story line pits the employees of the Good Burger restaurant against the evil minions of the Mondo Burger chain. Care to guess who wins in the end?

The main Good Burger guys are the sweetly soulful Ed (Kel Mitchell), who's invented an amazing secret food sauce, and his scamster buddy Dexter (Kenan Thompson), who's always looking for an angle. Although neither character is what you'd describe as "deep," Kel and Kenan make a solid comedy team. Kel, in particular, does some seriously funny stuff as he riffs through the role of a young man who's a lot more clued in than anyone figures.

The two "marquee" names in the cast are Sinbad and Abe Vigoda. Sinbad's part is basically padding, but he adds a humorous presence. Vigoda wanders about as the oldest burger flipper in the world. It's sort of sad to watch him.

Brian Robbins' direction is okay, but nothing special. The overall mood is light and bright. The production values are on the cheap side, although the set-up for the Mondo Burger restaurant has a cheesy wit. Stewart Copeland's music adds a classy touch to the proceedings.

"Good Burger" isn't USDA Choice by any means, but it's an enjoyable family flick with a nice message about friendship and responsibility. I went with my two grade school nephews. They declared it "cool" and "pretty funny."

Other members of the young audience laughed throughout (watching the car owned by Sinbad's character get smashed was a fave sequence) and applauded at the closing credits.

This movie is rated PG and runs 95 minutes. There's a sprinkling of crude language, some mild sexual innuendo, and a mean-spirited satire of mental hospitals.


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