Review: Good Burger 2


Growing up as a child of the 90s, Good Burger was one of my comfort movies. I can’t say that it was a particularly good movie, but it was quirky, fun, and stupid in a way that my childish mind instantly gravitated to. So as yet another legacy sequel, I was prepared for Good Burger 2 to do whatever it took to recapture that exact same style of comedy. I don’t know why you would want to, but it’s certainly a goal.

Look, Good Burger was a product of its time and doesn’t need to be attempted again. Tastes change and the same kind of humor that kids like me enjoyed back in the 90s isn’t necessarily the same humor that kids today have. I look at the steady drip of legacy sequels and while I know why they’re made (to exploit the nostalgia of older generations for profit), that doesn’t mean I have to like them. I will say that Good Burger 2 attempts to try somewhat different from the original film, but whether that’s good is an entirely different story. I mean, it isn’t good, but is that a surprise given the source material?

Good Burger 2 | Official Trailer | Paramount+

Good Burger 2
Director: Phil Traill
Release Date: November 22, 2023 (Paramount+)

Set 26 years after the original film, Dex (Kenan Thompson) is an entrepreneur who has failed to make a single worthwhile business venture and finds himself going back to work at Good Burger alongside his former co-worker and best friend Ed (Kel Mitchell). Ed is now the owner of the restaurant due to his love of the business and is being perpetually hounded by MegaCorp, a business conglomerate, to franchise the restaurant. Ed, being a kind-hearted idiot, says no, but Dex, being greedy and desperate, convinces Ed to franchise the restaurant to MegaCorp. Shock of all shocks, MegaCorp is evil, with its CEO being Katt Bozwell (Jillian Bell), the sister of the first film’s antagonist who wants revenge, and now it’s up to Dex and Ed to save Good Burger once again.

I’ll give the film credit, it’s wonderful seeing Kel Mitchell back in a leading role. Kel was able to expertly play the lovable idiot Ed to near brilliance. Oh sure, his humor is grating, but there’s something so endearing about how he takes everything literally and embodies the “no thoughts, head empty” ideology. Whenever Mitchell is given new material to work with, he excels with it. Granted, you have to already like his god-tier sense of stupidity, but as a person who loves dumb comedies like Dumb and Dumber and Zoolander, this hit just the right sweet spot. Thompson does alright as being the dry straight man, but this is Mitchell’s show.

Of course, like most legacy sequels, there’s an insistence on trying to tell the exact same jokes again. Direct callbacks to previous jokes are peppered in that aren’t funny and only serve to remind audiences that the jokes were better in the first film. Previous characters from Good Burger do make cameo appearances, and it’s really nice just to see a reunion of sorts between some of the All That cast members like Danny Tamborelli, Lori Beth Denberg, and Josh Server, but then I realize that the energy they had as kids just isn’t there anymore. There’s also a plethora of Saturday Night Live cast members that make cameos too and their scenes are stronger simply because they’re not trying to replicate decade-old jokes and are instead making something more tailored to their individual strengths. When it’s not mired in the past, Good Burger 2 is at its strongest… for the most part.

Review: Good Burger 2

Copyright: Nickelodeon, Paramount

As Good Burger 2 goes on, you start to realize that not a whole lot happens over the course of the film’s 90-minute runtime. The plot only really kicks into high gear a little over halfway into the movie and when it does, it almost immediately puts itself into the climax. Up until then, the film just slowly plods around, going from scene to scene attempting to make jokes and being very hit-or-miss with it. The first movie, for all of its flaws, was at the very least kinetic and fast-paced. In the span of 10 minutes in the original Good Burger, we went from a dance scene in a mental hospital, to a chase in an ice cream truck, to tackling little old ladies, to scaling a giant cheeseburger. Everything is more deliberate and coherent in Good Burger 2 to a fault, taking time to establish everything to further the film’s story and character arcs rather than telling good jokes.

And for any other comedy, that probably would be for the best. Plot and characters are important, but the truth that I don’t think Thompson and Mitchell want to admit is that no one really cares about the characters or plot of Good Burger. Lord knows the movie would have been forgotten and relegated to the 90s if it wasn’t for the pair’s love of the film and its cast. You have to respect that the two of them, who serve as the producers of the film, spent years of their lives trying to bring back the film mostly due to their own passion to make a sequel. That’s great and all and I respect them for putting forth the effort to even make the film, but love and passion can only go so far.

It’s evident in the film, as well, because whenever Kenan and Kel go back to what worked in the first film, that’s when it’s at its weakest. There are moments where it’s clear they’re trying to go bigger and better than the original film, like in the climax, but they just come across as a cheap imitation. It’s funny that for a climax that tries to present ideas about the automatization of labor, it all comes across as manufactured and sterile before diving headfirst into the type of stupidity that feels like it was only put in to make very small children laugh. I mean, I get it, kids are the target audience here, but there’s a difference between what Good Burger 2 does with its climax and what the original film did with its climax that had a loose logical escalation of events. Here, it’s just jumping the shark.

Review: Good Burger 2

Copyright: Nickelodeon, Paramount

And yet I can’t help but admit that I liked some of what I was watching. Oh, it’s not very good, and at points, it’s straight-up bad, but I can’t help but at least find it comforting in the same way that I find the first movie comforting. It isn’t trying to be anything more than a nearly three-decade-old sequel to a mostly negatively reviewed kids movie and the film is at its best when it’s just doing whatever it wants to do. This isn’t high art and we shouldn’t expect every movie to be high art. Sometimes movies can be corny as hell and be bad, yet enjoyable. I was incredibly excited when I sat down to watch Good Burger 2 and while there was no way it could live up to my rose-colored expectations of the original, it’s fine enough for a streaming movie for families this holiday season.




Good Burger 2 is a legacy sequel in every definition of the word, recycling jokes from the 90s and slowly dragging itself from scene to scene. Then again, what did you expect?

Jesse Lab
The strange one. The one born and raised in New Jersey. The one who raves about anime. The one who will go to bat for DC Comics, animation, and every kind of dog. The one who is more than a tad bit odd. The Features Editor.