Sunday, August 21, 2005

Herbie: Fully Loaded

Number 53, the love bug is back in town. Being a fan of the comedic but enjoyable Herbie movie franchise such as The Love Bug, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, etc. I was looking forward to more of the same hilarious antics and stunts this little car would come up with, but at the same time was afraid the same sequel fatigue would hit this memorable car as it did with so many other movies, rehash of old plots or just facial makeover without addressing anything from the old movies. But thankfully Herbie didn’t suffer much from this malaise as seen from Herbie: Fully Loaded.

The show begins with Herbie’s career as a racing wonder, wining every single race he was in and giving a recap of all the antics the car has been in past movies. This soon follows his decline as he lost race after race and soon finds himself ending his career at the scrap yard with the threat of being crushed into scraps. Next we see Maggie Payton (Lindsay Lohan), fresh from graduation and off to a new career away from the hum drum world of stock car racing her family, the Paytons are in. With the manager being her father, Ray Peyton senior (Micheal Keaton) and the car racer, Ray Peyton Jr. (Breckin Meyer). As a graduation present, Maggie got to picked a car of her own before she heads off to New York for work and guess who she ended up with?

The movie is as it was touted, a family oriented comedy in the veins of the past Herbie series. If you liked those you’ll enjoy seeing your old favourite in his element in this one. From street racing to competing in the Nextel NASCAR championships, Herbie is one tough bug. Lindsay does quite a good bit of acting and seeing the old love relationship budding with mechanic Kevin (Justin Long) is the usual teen lovey dovey moments. The family oriented side of trying to escape your past and finding a brighter future but ending up living up to your dreams is also present. Watch how Lindsay handles the various emotions a typical teenager faces and how she built up her rapport with Herbie as well as get along with the rest of her family. Hey it is a Warner Brothers film, loaded with values, lessons and goody two shoes moments! Of course there is always the villain this time in the form of hot shot stock car driver Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon) who acts out his jerk ass role up to the hilt. Of course compared to them all, Herbie is the main star here and he shines out to bring life and laughter throughout the film.

Most people would be turned off with this film, yes if you’re looking for a blockbuster Herbie won’t score points in this department. More mature adults might find this a little below them and not challenging enough. Visuals are ordinary without much emphasis of CGI except for the parts needed to animate and give Herbie his countless expressions, yet this keeps to the tradition of the older movies and does not detract the audience from what is really the heart of the movie, the bug with soul! If you’re a fan of this Volkswagen you’ll once again be brought back to memories of Herbie. It is a family movie, so don’t except violence, obscenities or sex scenes. What its essence is a wholesome laugh all you want film. Yes there are cheesy and corny moments but it is also fun and enjoyable. You can give it a miss if you don’t fancy movies the likes of the Pacifier or Baby’s Day Out. Yet if you’re under stress and need an outlet to just let your laugh echo the cinemas, go ahead and watch it. Also check out the comparison of Herbie with the newer Volkswagen model throughout the movie. Ratings; 7/10.


Adrian said...

Its a pre-pubescent girl's induction to materialism and vanity!!! ARGH!!!

JFE 8555 said...

correction. it's a Disney film.

jasmine said...

i went in with little expectations and came up amused. and that's good, given the other movies that were showing which didn't perform like ah sou.

Kervin said...

adrian: It's Disney their teen series are already lovey dovery so don't expect less here.

jfe 8555: Oops thanks for the spot, it's Disney all right.

jasmine: Yeah didn't put much into expectations when I went in but left with quite a nice impression.