July 7, 2005

Movie Review: Herbie: Fully Loaded

Yes, I took the bullet so that you don't have to, unless you have young children. Simply put, this is a bad movie anyway you try to cut it. Personally, I don't think that this franchise should have been revived at all. I remember liking the original Love Bug, although it has been many years since I've seen it. I picked up the recent DVD release of that original film, and lucked, if you want to call it that, a pass to see the new film.

I made my way to the theater, hoping that I would see a fun film that a family could enjoy. Granted, I am not a family, but I can appreciate all types of films and can enjoy a family oriented film. The problem is that there are so few good family films coming out. Too many films treat it's audiences like fools, especially the children. These people making these films so often play down to kids, underestimating them. Kids are not as dumb as Hollywood wants to believe them to be. This film, errr movie, falls towards the side of dumbing down to kids. I am not suggesting that Hollywood is contributing to the dumbing down of America, as interesting a topic as that may be, I am just suggesting that we need family films that a bit more intelligence behind them.

Herbie: Fully Loaded takes place in the same timeline as the original film series which ran from 1968 to 1980 and spanning 4 movies. We learn this through an extended opening sequence full of clips from the other films showing Herbie at the height of his popularity and his eventual fall from grace to end up in the junkyard at the beginning of our new film.

Through a little twist of fate Maggie Peyton (Lindsay Lohan) ends up with the car, then the magic begins. She is set up with conflicts with her father (Michael Keaton),a former NASCAR driver and current manager(?), who doesn't want his daughter racing. Another adversary is current NASCAR top dog Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon).

You know, it seems rather pointless to go through the story, there is nothing special about it. Typical conflicts, typical twists, the generic happy ending, been there, done that. I have no problems with a story that I've seen before, I have no problem with films that cater to the younger set, but I want a little bit of substance. This movie has no substance, and it has such an extreme lack of logic so as to be nearly nonsensical.

I don't mind movies that don't explain everything to me, I don't always need explanation. There are some movies, however, where a little bit more exposition is needed, this is one of those movies. It seemed as if some characters existed in the "real" world and others existed in Herbie's world, then, somehow, they became entangled but are unable to discern the other realm. This leads to this state of confusion and bizarre behaviors gripping our leads.

There is no idea given about the extent of Herbie's sentience. Characters just seem to accept what this car does, and no other car can do. There is also the reason for getting a car. She gets a car so she can drive herself around for a month, but they get a supposedly broken down car from a junkyard which most likely requires more work than they have time.

I felt bad for many of the actors involved in this mess. Lindsay Lohan could be a talented actress, but I would like to see her branch out into other roles aside from these family oriented Disney flicks. Michael Keaton, man, the past year has not been kind between this and White Noise, what happened to the days of Batman and Beetlejuice? Matt Dillon? Not one of my favorite actors, but he deserves better than this.

Bottomline. This could only be liked by the youngest of children, perhaps 6 and younger. Outside of that be ready for goofy performances, bad special effects, a story that has a good heart, but has little, if any, logic applied to it. This should have been left in that vault used for aborted ideas.

Not Recommended.

Also at Blogcritics.org.


Post a Comment