Herbie Does the Fuel Monte
Having come out of retirement to race in Europe Jim Douglas (Dean Jones) and Herbie along with engineer Wheely Applegate (Don Knotts) head to France where the race to Monte Carlo starts. But whilst Jim's mind is on the race Herbie's mind is on romance as he falls in love with the Lancia belonging to racer Diane (Julie Sommars) who becomes frustrated at Jim for what she thinks are his antics when in fact it is Herbie trying to woo the car. But there are other problems a foot as thieves Max (Bernard Fox) and Quincey (Roy Kinnear) have hidden a stolen diamond in Herbie's gas tank are now trying to get them back.
So after the second movie which saw Herbie left in the care of sweet little old lady Helen Hayes we have Herbie back racing and up to his usual antics. The thing about "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo" the third movie in the Herbie franchise is that whilst it takes a step back and puts Herbie back in racing mode it manages to pad it out with plenty of other sub plots so that it never feels purely a rehash of the first movie. Now none of those sub plots are amazingly original; the likes of bungling thieves is a Disney standard but for a young child the whole thing works with enough daft comedy to make them want to watch it again.
So what does that mean well of course we have Herbie up to his usual antics being a car with a mind of his own and this time one in love as he tries to woo another car. We also get the usual racing antics as Herbie humorously humiliates those who mock him and that also means dealing with the bungling robbers who hide a diamond in his fuel tank and try to get it back. And that does mean on top of all the fun of Herbie up to his usual antics we also get a bit of romance between Jim and Diane the owner of the car which Herbie flirts with and some classic bungling thieves comedy. But visually all of this works and watching Herbie moon over Diane's car is a lot of fun and the team who built all the stunt cars who have floppy wheels and so on deserve most of the praise for making "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo" work.
As for the actors well Dean Jones climbs into his old overalls and his old character with ease delivering the same humour as in the first movie. And Don Knotts is full of visual quirks as Wheely although lacks some of the charm of Buddy Hackett from the original. But this third movie is more than ever about the visual gags and Herbie rather than the other characters.
What this all boils down to is that "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo" is a solid entry in the Herbie franchise with a lot of visual gags surrounding Herbie's antics to amuse a young audience.