Anyone over the age of thirty will remember the Herbie: The Love Bug movies—there were five of them, plus a 1997 TV movie—about a spunky little car with a mind of its own. Fully Loaded is an attempt to rev up the engine of this franchise and run it around the track at least one more time.
This Lindsay Lohan vehicle—pardon the pun, but there are more to come—sees her playing Maggie Peyton, the only girl in a family of NASCAR drivers. As a graduation gift her father (Michael Keaton) buys her an emotive Volkswagen Beetle named Herbie from a local junkshop. Luckily Herbie is a positive influence in Maggie’s life—this is the opposite of that other car-come-to-life movie John Carpenter’s Christine—and Lohan and Herbie bond—is it an auto-erotic relationship?—while she rekindles her love of racing after a near-fatal accident forced her father to ban her from the track. Before you can say Dude, Where’s My Car? she finds herself going wheel to wheel with NASCAR champ Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon).
Herbie: Fully Loaded is a simple, but likeable underdog story of two unlikely racers—there aren’t many female NASCAR racers and a Volkswagen on the track is the kind of thing that could only happen in the movies—that, while predictable, is a long way from the junkyard.