Published Jul 01, 2005After the success of last year's relatively edgy Mean Girls, it comes as a bit of a shock that child actress turned media whore Lindsay Lohan would choose Herbie: Fully Loaded as her next vehicle. A rehashing of the old Disney Love Bug films, Herbie brings Lohan back to her Parent Trap days, catering to the under 13 crowd with little remnants of Mean Girls' progression.
Lohan plays Maggie Peyton, who finds old Herbie in a junkyard when her NASCAR coach dad (Michael Keaton, back from the dead just in time to see Christian Bale steal his bat thunder), takes her to buy a car for her graduation present. Herbie, who without much reasoning has the capabilities to emote, hits it off with Maggie and the two decide they want to start racing, much to her father's dismay. Childish humour and scenarios ensue, complete with a villainous Matt Dillon (fresh off good reviews from Crash, which are sure to be forgotten now), who is out to beat Herbie at the track.
Somehow the film is managed in a manner that is quite admirable on its own level. Angela Robinson, who recently helmed the lesbian action spoof D.E.B.S., was an interesting choice for Herbie, and she certainly adds some spunk to what could have been a complete bore. Lohan is quite adorable and the film's silly and extremely conventional plot shows that Herbie is not pretending to be anything but a harmless children's film.
Its plot and themes are more than enough to please any child, just not enough to please anyone hopeful about Lohan's post-Mean Girls career. (Walt Disney/Buena Vista)