HERBIE: FULLY LOADED
Herbie, the beetle shaped VW with a mind of its own, is saved from the wrecker's crusher when Maggie Peyton (Lindsay Lohan) - of the famous Payton family of racing car drivers - gets to buy him as a low key graduation present from her dad (Michael Keaton), on the eve of her departure for New York and a career far from the race track: sport broadcasting. But when Herbie takes Maggie for a spin, they get involved in an impromptu race with ace driver Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon), who is humiliated when Maggie (disguised as 'Max') ...er, Herbie, beats him. Maggie's dad is furious that she's driving again (he lost his wife in a racing accident) and knows that Maggie's dream is to be the first female winner of the NASCAR championships. Maggie's temptation leads her into a betrayal and loses Herbie to Trip. She is desperate to win him back and redeem herself.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Herbie first hit the screens in 1968 (The Love Bug) as Disney's modern, motorised mouse persona, a beetle shaped VW, with the number 53 on its nose and sides, and a mind of its own. Not to mention moving eyes, doors and lids, plus super powers on the road and track. A sort of Superman of the wheel set.... Here, the combination of underdog and teenage girl with a race track dream is parlayed into an entertaining family film, thanks in large part to Lindsay Lohan's credible characterisation and controlled performance. She wisely treats Herbie as a girl of her age might treat a pet horse. And gets away with it, even for slightly cynical audiences.
Lohan's fellow actors also deliver for adults, while Herbie's antics amuse the youngsters. The film enjoys a neat mix of fantasy fun, with Herbie as the silent character with whom we all sympathise: he never has to say a word to be understood, because his language is pure and simple emotion.
While the screenplay is totally predictable from start to finish, and the polish on the film is shinier than the duco on the racing stock cars, there is enough good writing and performance to give the film some glue emotionally. It may be a popcorn movie, but at least it doesn't insult our intelligence, appealing instead to the fun loving kid in us whose wishful thinking gets a decent workout.
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HERBIE: FULLY LOADED (G)
CAST: Lindsay Lohan, Justin Long, Breckin Meyer, Matt Dillon, Michael Keaton
PRODUCER: Robert Simonds
DIRECTOR: Angela Robinson
SCRIPT: Thomas Lennon, Ben Garant, Alfred Gough, Miles Millar
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Greg Gardiner
EDITOR: Wendy Greene Bricmont
MUSIC: Mark Mothersbaugh
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Daniel Bradford
RUNNING TIME: 110 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: BVI
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: June 23, 2005