Fast Food Abomination

Okay, I guess I have to write a review of Good Burger. Beth put it on our Netflix queue years ago, presumably out of morbid curiosity. We kept putting off getting it, but we finally watched it last night. It was actually released the summer I worked at the movie theater, so I could have seen it for free, but I didn’t. I do remember walking the theater during the scene when all the burgers were exploding. The movie was actually an extension of a sketch from Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell’s Nickelodeon show All That, which neither of us watched. Kenan wasn’t in these particular sketches, but he was worked into the film as a kid who gets a summer job at Good Burger to pay off the money he owes his teacher (played by Sinbad with an afro) for crashing into his car while driving without a license. There’s a recurring gag of Sinbad’s property being wrecked, even though the character doesn’t do anything to deserve it. Most of the humor is based on really dumb plays on words or often gross slapstick. To give you an example, when Kel is told his watch his butt…well, you can probably figure out what happens. He also climbs inside the milkshake machine at one point, and there are apparently no consequences for this, as health inspectors don’t exist in this world. The conflict, such as it is, involves a bigger burger place opening up across the street, with a fascist-seeming manager who will stop at nothing to put Good Burger out of business. They also use an illegal food additive to make their meat patties bigger. It turns out Kel can make a really good sauce for which we never find out all the ingredients, and the Mondo Burger manager unsuccessfully tries to get the recipe from him. When he fails, he instead locks up Kenan and Kel in a mental institution. I’m not sure why asylums in movies always seem to lock people up with no actual evidence. I mean, Kel’s character clearly IS mentally ill, but there’s no psychiatric exam or anything. I guess psychiatrists went the way of health inspectors. Linda Cardellini, who played Lindsay on Freaks and Geeks and Hawkeye’s wife in Avengers: Age of Ultron, appears as a mental patient who identifies herself as a psychopath, although if anything she’s likely schizophrenic. Get your psychological terms right, low-quality children’s movie! Abe Vigoda co-stars as a cranky old man who works at Good Burger, and Shaq makes a cameo appearance. Yeah, it’s bad, but maybe a kid would actually be entertained by it? I don’t know. I’d say it was a nothing burger, but apparently that means it would have colluded with Russia. Kenan has gone on to be a regular on Saturday Night Live, and I was curious as to what Kel is doing now. Looks like he still works for Nickelodeon.

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