“Apologizes again to my wife and sincerest regrets to any other “Mean Girls” fan that expected more from Lohan’s follow-up” – Clint Morris
Lindsay Lohan, Matt Dillon, Breckin Meyer, Michael Keaton, Justin Long, Cheryl Hines
“So you’re telling me this film’s set in a world where cars are alive”? That’s my wife, a little uncertain about the film she’s about to watch. Being a Lindsay Lohan fan, one would assume that the Disney starlets latest, “Herbie : Fully Loaded”, would’ve be right up Mrs Morris’s alley, but alas, it was about as much a fit as the film were for its lead star.
What Mrs Morris’s husband neglected to identify – unlike his wife who could spot it from a bus-shelter daybill away – was that Lindsay Lohan’s target audience for this one, a rework of the old “Love Bug” classics, was a bowling-alley crèche, not the same crowd who cheered and cackled there way through chic satire, “Mean Girls”, last year.
To the partners defence though, one would expect Lohan’s films would become slowly and slightly more adult – especially after the older-age targeted “Mean Girls” – with each new project, right? Right? Seems not. After snagging a few twenty-something fans with Tina Fey’s superbly penned teen comedy, the redheaded beauty has returned to the house of mouse to entertain the littlies (obviously, to complete her contract).
Not that someone a little older can’t enjoy a movie about a car with a soul, and its ability to fall in love with a female pair of wheels – right? Um, well, …a question for Ms Morris, perhaps? Who has just nodded off in her seat partway through proceedings.
Lohan plays a college graduate who finds her first car in Herbie, a spirited Volkswagen beetle that’s got a mind and bumper of it’s own. Though her father (Michael Keaton) and brother (Breckin Meyer) are race drivers, Maggie (Lohan) has been forbid to follow in the family footprints. With a little prod from Herbie though – she does it anyway, proving she’s not only one heck of a race-car driver, but her new little shitbox is quite the car.
To Mrs Morris’s defence, there’s nothing much here of interest here. Sure, it’s cute at times, has an attractive cast, and some funky tunes, but the “Herbie” franchise has returned a little too late. Those that grew up with the classic series – starring Dean Jones – are now married, have kids, and are too busy pushing a lawn-mower on a Saturday afternoon to be bothered with visiting the multiplex to muse over their formative years (After all, we’ve already done that once this year – with “Star Wars”). And in all honesty, the series never really warranted a comeback, it’s too dated – heck, it felt dated even when I checked out “Herbie goes to Monte Carlo” in 1977.
If kids do find themselves plonked in front of a projector that’s unspooling the film on a canvas though – they’ll no doubt enjoy it. It’s a cute film. And for what it’s worth it might even work in its favour if they haven’t
One thing’s for certain though, Lindsay Lohan’s definitely outgrown – in more ways than one, apparently Disney had to digitally reduce her bust size so the kiddies wouldn’t be scared by her buxom upper body – the Disney kids flick, and the Disney kids flick has outgrown her. As for the "Herbie" franchise? Nice try – but it needed a good oil and grease before the tardy comeback, and regrettably, this latest is running on nothing but fumes and an unfilled urn of coolant.
Apologizes again to my wife and sincerest regrets to any other "Mean Girls" fan that expected more from Lohan’s follow-up.
Reviewer : Clint Morris