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"Herbie: Fully Loaded" Disney and Lohan's 3rd film - CinemaDave

Jul. 21st, 2005 06:47 am "Herbie: Fully Loaded" Disney and Lohan's 3rd film

It has been over a year since Lindsey Lohan's last
movie, "Mean Girls." which can be a lifetime for
teenagers. In her latest movie, the teen star returns
to the familiar territory of Walt Disney cinematic
remakes. Her core audience is not riding with the
actress in "Herbie Fully Loaded." That is too bad
because "Herbie Fully Loaded" is a fun summertime
movie nonetheless.

Herbie is a 43-year-old Volkswagen beetle that has
driven the likes of Dean Jones, Helen Hayes and Don
Knotts in cinematic adventures during the 1960's and
1970s. In the year 2005, Herbie is destitute and is
about to become scrap. After graduating from
college, Maggie Peyton (Lohan) is visiting her father
(Michael Keaton), a famous NASCAR Champion who is
struggling to develop a race team. The Peyton
family is in direct competition with Trip Murphy (Matt
Dillon), a racer that is a mini corporation created by
sponsorships and endorsements. When Herbie proves his
metal against Trip Murphy in a street race, Murphy
plots public revenge.

This Walt Disney movie takes on Shakespearean comedic
elements with mistaken identity, character growth and
family reconciliation. It is the typical Disney movie
with a fast placed plot, empathetic characters with
common problems that the characters can solve with the
audience. There are a couple of thrilling moments and
a few tears are shed between the laughs. Cornball,
yes, but it is Disney cornball at their corporate
best.

Unlike the movies from the 1960s and 1970s, this fully
loaded Herbie is given facial expressions, revealing
both sadness and happiness. Similar to when Lassie
limps home to her master, Herbie the Volkswagen Beetle
generates more sympathy than his human counterparts.

This is not to say that the highly paid actors do
not do their job. It is that we have seen Lohan,
Keaton and Dillon perform the same shtick as before.
Lohan’s character has the same problems that a “Confession of
a Teenaged Drama Queen” did not absolve. Despite the
tabloid avalanche, Lohan remains a likeable leading
lady. Michael Keaton returns to his “Mr.
Mom” roots and Dillon plays yet another pretty bad
boy.

One would like to know how this Love Bug became so
impoverished by the new film’s opening. A veteran of
four motion pictures, a TV movie and a short-lived
television series, it is too bad that the box office
does not merit a sequel to “Herbie:Fully Loaded.”
Perhaps rival studios could get together and meld two
distinctly different genres, a kids movie and horror
based on a Stephen King novel. “Herbie meets
Christine” could be the ultimate scary battle of the
sexes, a 1963 Volkswagen beetle romancing a 1958
Plymouth Fury. Think of these children being nursed
by Don Knotts and Jessica Simpson!

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