“Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger. Can I take your order?” If you grew up during the peak of Nickeldeon’s 90s hit sketch comedy show All That, you could probably mimic the voice and cadence on call. That recurring segment would then have a Good Burger feature film in 1997 that cemented the Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell partnership's strength. It’s been about 26 years since the first film, and every studio has been looking to have some skin in the game when it comes to scratching the consumer nostalgia itch. A brief reunion spot on the Jimmy Fallon show provided the energy to make a second film happen.
So, what will a Good Burger sequel look like many years from now? Well, a lot of the same from the first film – either retweaked or turned up to the maximum. Director Phil Traill is conscious that he has Kel as Ed and Keenan as Dexter, not missing a beat to push everything forward. Ed still works at Good Burger and is now the owner. He’s still absent-minded, getting orders completely wrong, and has a complete family, including a son named Ed 2, another son Onion (who cries a lot), a dog named Attack, and a parrot named Don’t (yes, this is set up for a bit). Dexter is still looking for ways to strike it rich – this time as an entrepreneur at the helm of his own company.
His inventions go up in flames. His latest folly, Burn No More, a permanent flame repellant, doesn’t do what it intended. Dexter loses everything and has to call his trusted old buddy a shoulder to lean on. And Ed will pick up the call because that’s just the type of guy he is. The writing pair of Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert takes the molding from the first film and tinkers with parts of the story to account for all the years gone by. Dexter’s schemes haven’t just hurt himself, but his sister Charlotte (Leslie Jones) and her daughter/his niece Mia (Kamaia Fairburn). There’s an indication a lot of money was lost to a Dexter invention that didn’t pan out before.
That’s a terrible formula concerning the external factors trying to overtake the mom-and-pop staying power of Good Burger. In the original film, the fast-food restaurant had to fight off the abnormally altered hamburger patties of Mondo Burger. Here, it’s the dreadful ability of capitalism to try to ruin a good thing. Megacorp, a tech company, is looking to buy Ed’s share of Good Burger and install self-serving, AI-generated cashiers (in Ed’s image) worldwide. Megacorp lawyer Cecil (Lil Rel Howery) manages to hang around to try to catch Ed slipping. After all, it’s good for all the parties involved. They want to help him grow his business, right?
As you guessed, Dexter only has one thing on his mind, which gets everybody in trouble. Coupled with the fact Megacorp CEO Katt Bozwell (Jillian Bell Then, everybody has to band together to fight back against the corporate overlords. At this point, you almost have to wonder why Ed is friends with Dexter in the first place. Good Burger 2 comes with many cameos from Mark Cuban, Shar Jackson, Carmen Electra, and Pete Davidson, and some All That cast members such as Lori Beth Denberg and Josh Server. Even a gag plays on the infamous celebrity Imagine singing video that happens at one point.
To Good Burger 2’s credit, it feels like it came out of a time capsule in pristine condition. This will be a walk down memory lane if you fondly remember previous skits and the first film. At the same time, there is an attempt to modernize the stakes, especially when discussing the service industry and the perils of automation and big money. It’s the same order inside new packaging that you may or may not still have a taste for.