Herbie: Fully Loaded

A Film Review By The Mike

Rating: G Thanks to Digital Breast Reduction and Lindsay Lohan not being to drunk to stand up in most shots. 
Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Justin Long, Matt Dillon 
Directed By: Angela Robinson 

Final Grade: 

Disney’s pulling a two-for-one sale this summer, bringing back both their old hero Herbie and their newer heroine Lindsay Lohan for one movie. I’d say that both are bigger than ever, but in the case of Lohan my words might get digitally reduced.

That situation beside, Disney’s latest is a by the numbers affair, a slight and unmotivated film that’s sure to bring in the family buck. The story has Herbie left for dead in a junkyard until Lohan and her Nascar chief father (Michael Keaton) save him. Of course, Herbie seems to have a life of his own, and soon the relationship goes right into buddy feature territory. Within no time, the duo is racing a Nascar champ on multiple occasions, while moonlighting with activities like demolition derbies and the everlasting search for love.

It’s a standard “coming-of-age” plot, with a sports movie kick that deals with the young girl’s quest to be a racer like her father and grandfather were. You won’t be surprised by anything that occurs. In fact, any viewer over 10 shouldn’t have a problem knowing the next scene before it happens.

This Herbie flick does have a few good points. The supporting cast, specifically Justin Long (who’s again used as a human piñata) as the mechanic/love interest and Matt Dillon as the cocky Nascar Champ, is a relatively good one. Lohan still has that sweethearted look that she used so well in Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, but anyone old enough to have seen her publicity of late might have trouble believing she’s the wholesome girl the film wants.

Herbie himself, the “tricked-out” ’63 Volkswagen Beetle, is handled well. There’s no ridiculous talking car gags, and his lifelike status is portrayed with adequate restraint in most scenes. The final race provides moments that will induce several eye rolls, but it’s nothing the target audience will find annoying.

I can’t really say Herbie: Fully Loaded is a bad film, nor can I praise it. It might be lacking in the aspects of drama and filmmaking that make most people who’ve passed puberty enjoy film, but it’s also got enough gas in the tank to keep the young audience entertained. As simple children’s cinema, you could do a lot worse. It’s not something that’ll teach your kids the most valuable lessons in life, perhaps, but it should at least keep them entertained. 

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