Lohan Pimps Herbie's Ride
Whilst growing up I must have watched many of the Herbier movies and whilst I suppose I enjoyed them they didn't leave any lasting impression. Maybe that's a good thing when it comes to "Herbier Fully Loaded" as it meant I knew all about the VW Beetle with a mind of its own but didn't have any emotional attachment to those original movies. But whilst it helps I wouldn't say that this latest re-incarnation is a good movie, just a fun, very average update which will probably amuse young teens but does little to establish a new franchise.
After years of being a champion, Herbier the loveable VW bug finds himself in a salvage yard and facing the crusher that is until Maggie Peyton (Lindsay Lohan - Mean Girls) shows up with her father who buys it for her as a graduation present. Despite being in a sorry state Herbier still has a mind of his own and Maggie soon discovers this as he takes her to car mechanic Kevin (Justin Long - Dodgeball) and then gets them into trouble with a street race against NASCAR racing champ Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon - Crash). And having embarrassed Trip by beating him in a shaky old Beetle Maggie finds herself drawn back into the world of car racing much to her father's disapproval.
Whilst those old Herbier movies still get shown occasionally on TV they're not often as they once were and so the opening to "Herbier Fully Loaded" which gives us a potted history of Herbie's antics before having him end up in a salvage yard is a reasonable introduction for younger audiences. It doesn't quite get across the craziness of those movies but at least establishes that once Herbier was a champion racing car and despite being in a bad way still has a mind of its own giving us plenty of humour as Herbier tries to avoid the crusher.
But the thing is that after that the storyline to "Herbier Fully Loaded" ends up being quite boring as we meet Maggie who ends up owning the loveable bug and soon finds out about its ability to drive itself. Actually boring is not really true but seems quite slim with Maggie ending up rivalling professional racing car driver Trip Murphy which of course leads to a big show down race which also ties in Maggie's racing family who are struggling. The trouble is that it lacks the craziness, the comical caper aspect of the originals and so whilst there is some fun scenes it never becomes really crazy. It's still entertaining and watching the mischievous Herbier do what he likes is still fun but not fun enough.
Of course with the improvement of technology over the years the way Herbier does what he likes has also improved. Things such as moving wing mirrors or pulling a wheelie does bring a smile to your face. Yet there are times when everything looks fake and a scene which sees Herbier pull a face behind Trip's back looks like it belongs in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" not a Herbier movie.
As for the acting well in many ways it's "Herbier Fully Loaded" main weakness as both Lindsay Lohan and Justin Long look like they have been cast because they look good together. And to be honest Lohan as Maggie and Justin as Kevin do make an easy on the eye pairing but that is really all there is to them. Maybe if the supporting cast had more to do it would have helped but sadly the likes of Breckin Meyer and Michael Keaton are serious underused and Matt Dillon just doesn't come across as evil enough as racing rival Trip Murphy. As I said it seems like it is a case of the actors being cast for their good looks and so that quirky factor, the comedy sidekick is missing.
What this all boils down to is that "Herbier Fully Loaded" is a fun movie, but also a very average one which never really recaptures the craziness of the original Herbier movies. But for a young teen audience who've never seen those old Disney movies it will entertain.