Saturday, August 06, 2005

HERBIE: FULLY LOADED - harmless fun

Whatever the tabloid image, I believe that Lindsay Lohan is an entertainer of great merit. I find that the common thread to all of her movies is that she is charming and engaging: you genuinely want to spend time with her. I am happy to report that her latest offering, HERBIE: FULLY LOADED, is another light, heart-warming, mildly amusing family movie, fully in the tradition of those cheesy old Herbie movies that I used to love as a kid. This is not great cinema by any means but it ticks all the genre-specific boxes. The plot is simple enough. Lohan plays a young girl called Maggie Peyton who desperately wants to be a racing driver, much to the gentle disapproval of her father (Michael Keaton) and her less talented brother. However, her father does buy her a beat up old VW Beetle, a.k.a Herbie. Maggie restores Herbie with the help of the obligatory love-interest Kevin (Justin Long, who also played the “hero” in the awful gross-out comedy WAITING…). Herbie is soon running around town causing a commotion. In particular, thanks to Herbie, Lohan finds herself competing against the obnoxious racing champ, Trip Murphy, played by a beautifully cast Matt Dillon in full-on sleaze-mode. The plot then unfolds in a completely predictable manner and without the post-modern ironic overtones that many parents have come to expect when they take their kids to a flick. Nonetheless, as basic old-skool family movies go, I can’t fault this production: you could definitely do worse.

HERBIE: FULLY LOADED is on global release.

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