Maggie (Lohan) longs to be a racing driver like her dad (Keaton) and brother (Meyer), but isnt allowed near the track. Instead, her dad buys her Herbie, a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own. Together with mechanic Kevin (Long), Maggie and Herbie be
Burdened with a title horribly reminiscent of the Charlies Angels sequel, this Herbie movie is no car-crash for the franchise but thanks to charisma-free performances from most of its human cast, its a close call.
It starts promisingly with a headline montage showing Herbies past glories, descent into ignominy and arrival on the scrap heap. Rescued by Lindsay Lohan in the films best scene, Herbie takes his new owner racing against arrogant NASCAR champion Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon). Then things roll downhill. Theres the early success, the training montage, pride, failure and soul-searching before well, no prizes for guessing how it ends.
This strict adherence to formula is wearing for anyone over ten, but worse is Lohan, who displays none of her Mean Girls feistiness, flouncing and pouting and out-acted at every turn by the cars subtle CGI and animatronic flourishes. Perhaps the rumoured digital reduction of Lohans two main talents (this being a family film, after all) affected her charm.
Every bit as good (and bad) as Herbie Goes Bananas; but the Love Bug deserves better performances.