*CRACK fzzzzzz SLURP* Can you taste the nostalgia? Remember how great Good Burger was? What a classic comedy movie! I love buddy comedies, don’t you? Good Burger is the absolute perfect example of nostalgia TRASH. If you think of it in your mind, you can remember great things, but don’t look too close! The reality is empty and pathetic. Not only is Good Burger terrible, it serves as the perfect metaphor for the separation between adult and kid comedy. It is the beginning of that horrible Disney comedy we see running rampant today. Worst of all it assumes all children are stupid and by the ratings, maybe they’re right?
Ed is your typical stoner surfer bro (without the cool characteristics of being a stoner or a surfer) who works at Good Burger, the local burger stand. When Mondo Burger, the flashy, sexy, bigger burger shop opens up across the street it’s up to Ed and his new friend Dexter to scheme a way to stay in business and destroy Mondo Burger.
The main character and the person that holds the whole movie together is the key to why this movie is so bad. Kel Mitchel plays Ed in a complete Bill and Ted rip off. He wants to be Keanu Reeves so bad. Unfortunately the writing makes Ed less of a “dumb guy with a heart of gold and smart at the most wacky moments” and more of a special ed student that can barely get by without a caretaker. They wrote Ed to be so brainless the only way to put thoughts into his head is by screaming them slowly. If you talk too fast he literally short circuits. He will steal a baby from a screaming mother and shrug it off.
That's why this character doesn’t work. There’s a scene where he helps a psychopath get out of a straight jacket and murder a woman. He has no emotion or reaction about it. He doesn’t care or seem to even know what is happening in front of his eyes. His character has no soul. If Bill and Ted helped someone murder a woman you can picture their reaction based on their character. They would act chivalrous, stand up and “make things right!” or “avenge her death!” Ed is so beyond motivation he plays a complete asexual. Beautiful women throw themselves at him and he actually beats them up in response (one girl he put in a neck brace and two casts for trying to kiss him). It comes off as really sad.
The creators of Good Burger don’t seem to understand what makes a dumb character not just funny but lovable. Making someone as dumb as humanly possible could work, but the character needs to have some morals or motivation for you to care. Something to live by or a reason for existing. When we don’t get that we have nothing to latch onto but wacky dialogue and a pretty face (which can go along way for children.) Butters on South Park is a perfect example. He’s not smart but I could make a laundry list of his morals, motivations, reactions and feelings on life. Ed is dumb and likes putting food in his nose before he eats it.
Before this point comedy movies for kids could mostly be enjoyed by adults. That’s because when someone made a comedy movie they made it without assuming kids are stupid. They made the characters and the story make sense. They gave people motivation. At some point things changed and the kids movies made less sense, had terrible characters and the acting spiraled out of control (the directing is probably to blame).
They stopped respecting the kids. The sad part is the kids ate it up.
Turns out if you have pretty people being wacky it doesn’t really matter what anyone's motivations are or how evil the characters act. Kids (and stupid people in general) will watch it. Just look at Big Bang Theory! Once they realized they didn’t need to try hard or make anything actually good it’s like they unlocked the stupid code and let the kids take over. Shows like iCarly, Zoey 101, Drake and Josh, and The Amanda Show were just a few of the mindless kids garbage all made by the same creator, Dan Schneider.
Good Burger is actually a metaphor for this realization that Schneider had. See, Ed represents brainless humor without any reason or motivation. Good Burger is the project that uses that dumb humor as a way to make money. Mondo Burger represents actual great children's comedy with motivations and character that aren’t heartless jerks. See, everyone goes to Mondo Burger because their burgers are way bigger aka they have more meat = SUBSTANCE. Ed convinces people to come back to Good Burger with his special sauce, which is just putting sugar on the meat AKA empty meaningless garbage. But how does Mondo make their burgers so big? With science AKA intelligence. Ed’s “best friend” Dexter is a metaphor for Dan Schneider himself. The first thing Dexter does is see how stupid Ed is and forces him to sign a contract where Dexter gets all the money off eds creation (the sauce). I assume that was Schneider’s first instinct. These kids are stupid I could just rip them off, pay my debts and bounce. Then he realized how much more money he could make if he just gave in to the stupidity and worked with it. Much like Dexter does in the movie.
If you watch the trailer for Good Burger you’ll notice the few things that are great about the movie. It’s shot on film and looks beautiful. The production design is fantastic, there’s an awesome burger car and Mondo Burger is a sight to see. I think that’s another reason Good Burger is perfect nostalgia trash. You can watch parts online and think it’s good. When I started watching the movie I got worried, “oh shit, is Good Burger good?” It only takes about 15 minutes for the illusion of the pretty faces and sets to wash away and for you to realize, much like fast food, there’s no nutrition here. There’s no meat. It’s all sauce.
Good Burger ushered in a new wave of the worst kids entertainment we’ve ever seen. It proved that you don’t have to be smart to make kids shows and kids will watch anything with a cute face. At the end of the day I mostly feel sorry for the parents. All the poor parents of the world that are forced to watch this shit a thousand times over and experience their children getting stupider by the minute. The dumb revolution has been waged and the idiots have won.