Good Burger

on July 25, 1997 by Karen Achenbach
"Good Burger" is fat with laughs, good for your heart, and the film introduction of cable network Nickelodeon's two most popular oung stars: Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchel (of "All That" and "Kenan & Kel"), a sensational comedy duo the likes of which haven't been seen since Abbott and Costello. As directed by Brian Robbins, in big, right close-ups, Kenan and Kel breathe heart and soul into this tale f virtue winning over all, and false friendship becoming real.
   "You're not like other people, are you?" asks Shaquille O'Neal (guesting as himself) of fast-food joint Good Burger's most loyal employee Ed (Mitchel), and he's right. As played (and conceived) by itchel, Ed's long-locked, surfer-accented youngster is surprising and hilarious, the first black "dude" to cross color lines. Ed is pure of heart--some call it stupidity--and his innocence protects him. Dexter (Thompson, who reminds one of the great British comedian Lenny Henry), is Ed's reluctant ally, a schemer who slowly becomes a real friend as both fight to protect Good Burger from the evil new outlet, Mondo Burger.
   Presented in association with Nickelodeon Movies, "Good Burger", a Tollin/Robbins production, is quality family fare from the same men responsible for "All That" and "Kenan & Kel." Jokes are built on Ed's wild leaps of mind: When offered a bribe, "How does $10 sound?", Ed crinkles a ten-spot to his ear. (Ed's ability to hear all things-- hamburgers, dollars, dogs--is captivating). Tender moments with Shaq and an exceptional dance sequence with guest George Clinton stand out. A lively soundtrack features the comfortingly inclusive "I'm a Dude" (performed by Less than Jake, with Kel Mitchel), and an ending look at Ed's intelligence is a treat. The only concern for parents is comedy based on reckless driving. Starring Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchel, Abe Vigoda and Sinbad. Directed by Brian Robbins. Written by Dan Schneider and Kevin Kopelow & Heath Seifert. Produced by Mike Tollin and Brian Robbins. A Paramount release. Comedy. Rated PG for language, some comic violence and mild sex-related humor. Running time: 95 min
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