DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Film Review: Herbie Fully Loaded



Herbie: Fully Loaded (U)

Dir. Angela Robinson
Reviewed by Matt Adcock


You know what they say: “Get your motor running… Head out on the highway… Looking for adventure and whatever comes our way…” Or of course you could just go and see Herbie: Fully Loaded, which is the new big screen outing for the famous little VW Beetle with a mind of its own.

This new tale introduces Herbie to the high-speed U.S. world of NASCAR racing, a last car standing destruction derby and perhaps most dangerous of all - his new owner Lindsay Lohan who is almost as curvy as he is… In fact you can play the fun game of trying to spot where the Disney executives reportedly spent $1 million to digitally reduce the size and bounciness of certain female attributes that they thought might detract from the story.

Anyway Lohan plays Maggie Peyton, your average all American teenage girl who likes to race cars on the streets when not graduating from college. Her father Ray – Michael Keaton who sleepwalks through this undemanding role – is the head of a NASCAR racing team who are losing sponsors almost as fast as they are losing races. The problem being that the team driver, Maggie’s brother Ray Peyton Jr. (Breckin Meyer) can’t actually drive more than a lap without smashing into the circuit wall… If only there was someone else in the family who could drive?




Then before you can shout ‘but where’s Herbie?’ Maggie buys him from the scrap yard in which he has ended up. Cue an unlikely plot that sees her going head to head against the worlds number one NASCAR driver Trip Murphy (a nicely slimy Matt Dillon), Herbie becoming the new team Peton race car and of course the obligatory realisation of the ‘old friend / teen romance’.

The special effects are handled nicely, Herbie has survived the jump to semi CGI with most of his charm intact and director Angela Robinson obviously tries to keep some of the feel of the earlier films. Some may say that this is all just a cynical way to boost sales of the undoubtedly soon to be released Herbie DVD box set but I think there is probably room in a new generation’s hearts for some positive Herbie action. But, can Herbie save the day, win the major championship race and find time to hit on a sexy new style VW Beetle along the way? Come on, this is the ‘big’ family Disney film of the summer – have a wild guess!

Darkmatt Rating: öö (Fun but only vaguely watchable)

Matt Adcock meets Herbie

Lohan





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