Herbie Fully Loaded (2005)
Lohan film loaded with laughs
There are certain things you can count on every day. The sun will rise. The sun will set. And Lindsay Lohan will be involved in some sort of driving mishap. Just by coincidence, a few minutes before I set out to type up this review, news broke that Lohan clipped a pedestrian with her car and left the scene. This woman’s life must be just like one huge game of Mario Kart. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that she had been hit by a turtle shell and skidded onto a banana peel to cause this latest accident.
So it is quite comical that back in 2005, Lohan was cast as a NASCAR-calibre driver in the Disney family comedy Herbie: Fully Loaded. Actually it is quite comical that Lindsay Lohan was starring in a Disney family comedy, but those were simpler times in LiLo’s life. It is appropriate, however, that she is starring in a movie with “Loaded” in the title. For although she may have had her run-ins with the law, it is undeniable that Lindsay is loaded with talent. She is also loaded with charisma. And charm. And tequila. And cocaine.
In Herbie: Fully Loaded, Lohan portrays Maggie Peyton, a recent college graduate who comes from a family of race car drivers. Her father Ray (Michael Keaton) is short on cash, so takes his daughter to the junkyard to pick up her graduation present. They leave with a ’63 Volkswagen Beetle. Little do they know that this little car is actually Herbie, a car that has its own personality and the ability to drive itself. Herbie was featured in several films in the 1960s and ’70s including Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Herbie Goes Bananas and Debbie Does Herbie, the latter of which was not affiliated with Walt Disney.
“The Love Bug,” as Herbie is sometimes referred to, gets Maggie into all sorts of shenanigans, including a race with NASCAR’s golden boy Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon). After Maggie ends up smoking him in a race, Trip makes it his mission to send Herbie back to the scrapheap. This all leads to a thrilling finale where Maggie puts pedal to the metal in a death-defying race to the finish. It is entirely possible that Lohan didn’t know the camera was on at this point, which makes this sequence even more impressive.
Lohan is outstanding in the lead role. I certainly hope that one day she returns to her roots and reteams with Disney to star in more motion pictures like this one. People often forget that Donald Duck ran afoul of the law due to a nasty drug and prostitute habit. He was welcomed back into the fold. So there is hope for future Lohan/Herbie collaborations.
Michael Keaton also shines in this film. After starring in Batman and Batman Returns, Keaton decided he no longer wished to play the Caped Crusader. People thought he was crazy at the time. But after landing a supporting role in a Lindsay Lohan Disney film a mere 15 years later, Keaton shows he made the right choice. I can’t wait for the future Christian Bale/Amanda Bynes pairing.
Herbie: Fully Loaded is a terrific film that the whole family can enjoy together. She may be going through some rough times, but Lohan can take pride in knowing she was a part of this film as long as she lives (and I have checked Google six times since I started typing, she is still alive).