Herbie: Fully Loaded

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Herbie: Fully Loaded
Herbiefl poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAngela Robinson
Produced byRobert Simonds
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Thomas Lennon
  • Robert Ben Garant
  • Mark Perez
Based onCharacters
by Gordon Buford
Starring
Music byMark Mothersbaugh
CinematographyGreg Gardiner
Edited byWendy Greene Bricmont
Production
company
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • June 22, 2005 (2005-06-22)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$50 million
Box office$144.1 million

Herbie: Fully Loaded is a 2005 American sports comedy film directed by Angela Robinson, written by Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, and starring Lindsay Lohan, Justin Long, Matt Dillon and Michael Keaton. The film features cameos by many NASCAR drivers, including Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin. It is the sixth and final installment of The Love Bug film series, following the 1997 television film The Love Bug and the only theatrical Herbie film since Herbie Goes Bananas (1980). This film serves as a direct sequel to the original films and ignores the events from the fifth film The Love Bug. The film was released on June 22, 2005, and grossed $144 million worldwide despite mixed critical reception.[1]

Plot[edit]

Herbie, a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own, is towed to a junkyard after losing several races. Maggie Peyton is the youngest member of the Peyton racing clan. Her father, Ray Peyton Sr., takes her to the junkyard to buy her a car as a college graduation present. Ray Sr. takes Maggie to her mechanic friend Kevin who agrees to take Herbie to a car show to buy parts. Herbie tricks Maggie into disguising herself in a racing suit and helmet and challenging NASCAR champion Trip Murphy to an impromptu race, which Herbie wins by a hair.

This delights Kevin, who tries to talk Maggie into racing again, but worries Ray Sr., who has forbidden her from racing since she was involved in a street-racing accident years ago. It also infuriates Murphy, who becomes obsessed with Herbie and his mysterious driver. Murphy organizes a local street-racing competition to lure Herbie back for a rematch, which Maggie and Kevin enter. Herbie easily defeats the other cars and qualifies for the final match with Murphy, but when Murphy talks Maggie into racing for pink slips, Herbie becomes jealous over Maggie's desire to win Murphy's stock car and intentionally loses the race. Maggie is publicly embarrassed, Herbie is towed away, and Ray Sr. scolds Maggie for racing without his permission.

However, encouraged by her friend Charisma, Maggie decides to race professionally. She tries to buy Herbie back from Murphy, but Murphy has entered Herbie in a demolition derby. Desperate to save Herbie from destruction, Maggie goes to the derby, runs onto the field while the derby is in progress, quickly apologizes and pleads with Herbie to help her, and an overjoyed Herbie accepts her back as his driver; the two manage to escape destruction and win the derby.

Meanwhile, the Peyton racing team may have to forfeit an upcoming NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race due to financial troubles and two crashes by the team's driver and Maggie's brother, Ray Peyton Jr. Ray Sr. refuses to let Maggie drive for the team, but Ray Jr. decides on his own that she will take his place and sends the Team Peyton crew to help her and Kevin prepare Herbie for the race. At the race track, Maggie and Herbie have a heart-to-heart conversation, and Murphy ominously warns Maggie that the race will be dangerous.

Herbie starts the race slowly, but he eventually catches up and begins passing the other cars before Maggie makes her first pit stop. Meanwhile, Ray Sr., who has been watching the race at home, decides to join the crowd in person. On the track again, Herbie is soon boxed in by some other cars, but Ray Sr. arrives at the track and encourages Maggie over the team radio, and Maggie escapes the trap by driving directly over Tony Stewart’s car in front of her, damaging Herbie's oil system. Maggie makes another pit stop and Kevin hurriedly extracts a replacement part from the yellow New Beetle, which Herbie has been eyeing amorously throughout the film, owned by Sally, one of Team Peyton's few remaining sponsors. The jury-rigged oil system is fragile, and Murphy is intent on preventing Herbie from winning.

With Maggie, Herbie, and Ray Sr. now working together, Maggie and Herbie catch up to Murphy. Murphy, bent on defeating Herbie once and for all, tries to damage Herbie by pushing him into the track wall when Maggie tries to pass him, but he is caught off guard and crashes into the wall when she slams on the brakes during his next attempt, resulting in him hitting Jeff Gordon, flipping him over. Herbie passes Murphy's car, now upside down on the track, by climbing onto the fence above the wall. After landing back on the track, Maggie and Herbie win the race, and Maggie becomes the next Peyton to win a NASCAR race. Maggie is congratulated by her father and brother, and Murphy is driven away in an ambulance, raging furiously about Herbie, as Maggie and Kevin kiss. The film ends with Ray speaking with Herbie and Sally's New Beetle (which is revealed to have a mind of its own as well), telling them not to stay out too long on their date as Herbie has another race coming up.

Cast[edit]

Herbie in his "Street Race" look
  • Lindsay Lohan as Margaret "Maggie" Peyton, a college graduate who later falls for Herbie, before becoming a NASCAR driver at the end of the film
  • Justin Long as Kevin, Maggie's boyfriend.
  • Matt Dillon as Trip Murphy, a NASCAR driver who wants to prevent Herbie from winning. He drives a Pontiac GTO, a Chevrolet Corvette, and a Chevrolet Monte Carlo that he uses in NASCAR.
  • Michael Keaton as Ray Peyton, Maggie's father. Michael Keaton would later portray Chick Hicks in Cars, who himself is also a vehicle.
  • Breckin Meyer as Ray Peyton, Jr., Maggie's brother
  • Cheryl Hines as Sally
  • Thomas Lennon as Larry Murphy
  • Jimmi Simpson as Crash
  • Jill Ritchie as Charisma
  • Jeremy Roberts as Crazy Dave
  • Monica Manning as Monica Armstrong

Many racing professionals appear as themselves in cameo roles, including UNH announcer Allen Bestwick, 1973 NASCAR champion Benny Parsons and ESPN broadcaster Stuart Scott.

Director Angela Robinson stated in an interview that she attempted to have Dean Jones reprise his role as Jim Douglas for a cameo, but due to scheduling problems he was unable to do so. This circulated false rumors alleging Jones had filmed the cameo and the scene had been deleted.[2]

Various 2004 season real-life NASCAR drivers and their cars can also be seen, including Dale Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (car only), Casey Mears (car only), Kasey Kahne (car only), Tony Stewart (car only), Bobby Labonte (car only), Terry Labonte (car only), Brendan Gaughan, Mark Martin (car only), Ward Burton (car only), Carl Edwards (car only), Jimmy Spencer (car only), Mike Bliss (car only), Scott Wimmer (car only), Jamie McMurray (car only), Rusty Wallace (car only), Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch (car only), Scott Riggs (car only), Robby Gordon (car only), and Kevin Harvick (car only).

Production and marketing[edit]

In their 2011 screenwriting how-to book Writing Movies For Fun (And Profit), Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon, two of the film's co-writers, explained their original starting idea for the Herbie remake: "We are both very big fans of the old The Love Bug movies... but the old Herbie movies are corny in a way you can't get away with today... We needed to put Herbie in a much more real world. Not some dopey, illogical, kids-movie world, with characters like the crotchety old junk lot owner twirling his mustache and swearing, 'I'm gonna get that little car if it's the last thing I ever do!!!' Kids hate that kind of stupid shit as much as grown-ups do... We set it in a very realistically portrayed world of San Fernando Valley street racing: a macho world, where an old, beat-up car would get laughed at -- then be totally respected when it won some races."[3]

They further elucidated on the experience: "We turned in the first draft, and the movie was greenlit... They were that confident of the movie. Off the first draft... [but] here's where it gets interesting/horrible. We were no longer dealing directly with [then-Disney president Bob Iger]. We were now dealing with a studio executive under the president. This executive was not in the room when we sold the pitch. This executive was not there when [Iger] gave us notes on the script... This executive had no agenda. This exec wasn't making a power play. This executive just genuinely didn't understand the movie and what [Iger] had liked about it."[3]

Principal photography began on March 1, 2004 in Los Angeles and wrapped on June 18. During the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season, drivers Dale Jarrett and Scott Riggs ran special paint schemes to promote the film.[4]

The film was reported to include heavy uses of product placement. For example, Maggie Peyton is a former reporter for ESPN (owned by Disney) turned NASCAR driver. A huge billboard for Mid America Motorworks (an aftermarket parts supplier for classic Volkswagens and other vehicles) is seen in the background of the scene where Murphy attempts to sabotage Herbie. In addition, Volkswagen provided a Volkswagen Touareg and a Volkswagen New Beetle for use in certain scenes.[5]

Various race cars in the Nextel Cup Series appear during the race at the end, with action sequences being filmed during the 2004 Pop Secret 500 race at California Speedway. Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 8 car is seen briefly, but it has all the Budweiser logos removed and replaced with his signature to avoid advertising alcohol in a children's film. In addition, billboards can be seen in straightaway scenes, some with the NEXTEL logo on them. Also, in the scene where Maggie pretends to drive a stock car in the junkyard, Dominic Toretto's 1970 Dodge Charger from the 2001 film The Fast and The Furious can be seen among the cars.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $12,709,221 in 3,521 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking number four at the box office. By the end of its run, Herbie: Fully Loaded grossed $66,023,816 domestically and $78,123,000 internationally, totaling $144,146,816 worldwide.[1]

Critical response[edit]

As of 2015, the film holds a 41% rating at Rotten Tomatoes based on 143 reviews, with the critics' consensus saying that "Herbie: Fully Loaded is a decent kids movie that is pretty undemanding for adult viewers."[6] The film is the second-lowest rated entry in the franchise, with Herbie Goes Bananas scoring a 40% rating.[7] Roger Ebert gave the film a two out of four stars, stating: "The movie is pretty cornball. Little kids would probably enjoy it, but their older brothers and sisters will be rolling their eyes, and their parents will be using their iPods."[8] William Thomas of Empire Magazine gave the film a two out of five stars and said: "Every bit as good (and bad) as Herbie Goes Bananas; but the Love Bug deserves better performances."[9]

Awards[edit]

At the 2006 Kids' Choice Awards, Lohan won "Favorite Female Actress" for her role. The film was also nominated for "Favorite Movie" but lost to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Year Ceremony Award Result
2006 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Comedy Actress: Lindsay Lohan Nominated
Choice Summer Movie
Kids Choice Awards Favorite Movie
Favorite Movie Actress: Lindsay Lohan Won

Soundtrack[edit]

Herbie: Fully Loaded (Original Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedJune 21, 2005
GenrePop, rock
Length52:40
LabelHollywood

The soundtrack album was released on June 21, 2005. It includes Lohan's 2004 song "First", and remakes of classic songs by Walt Disney Records artists including Aly & A.J., Caleigh Peters, Ingram Hill and Josh Kelley, and big names such as Lionel Richie and Mark McGrath. The album does not, however, contain any of Mark Mothersbaugh's original score for the film.

Despite most of the songs' original recodings appearing in the film itself, the soundtrack contains remakes exclusive to the album. For example, The Beach Boys' original recording of "Getcha Back" is used for the film's opening credits, but the Mark McGrath cover is featured on the soundtrack.

The Girls Aloud single "Long Hot Summer" was planned to be included, but was cut from the final film.

  1. Lindsay Lohan - "First"
  2. Mark McGrath - "Getcha Back" - The Beach Boys cover (1985)
  3. Aly & AJ - "Walking on Sunshine" - Katrina and the Waves cover (1985)
  4. Caleigh Peters – "Fun, Fun, Fun" - The Beach Boys cover (1964)
  5. Pilot - "Magic"
  6. Josh Gracin - "Working for the Weekend" - Loverboy cover (1981)
  7. The Donnas – "Roll On Down the Highway" - Bachman–Turner Overdrive cover (1974)
  8. The Mooney Suzuki - "Born to Be Wild" - Steppenwolf cover (1968)
  9. Ingram Hill - "More Than a Feeling" - Boston cover (1976)
  10. Rooney - "Metal Guru" - T. Rex cover (1972)
  11. Josh Kelley - "You Are the Woman" - Firefall cover (1976)
  12. Lionel Richie - "Hello"
  13. Mavin - "Welcome to My World"
  14. Black Smoke Organization - Herbie: Fully Loaded remix
  15. Black Smoke Organization – "Herbie vs. NASCAR"

Video game[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-07-27.
  2. ^ "An Interview with Angela Robinson". UltimateDisney.com. October 21, 2005. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Garant, Robert; Lennon, Thomas (July 5, 2011). Writing Movies For Fun (And Profit) (Paperback ed.). New York, NY: Touchstone. pp. 92–100. ISBN 978-1-4391-8675-6. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  4. ^ "April 16 – Today in Jayski's NASCAR history". Jayski's Silly Season Site. April 16, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  5. ^ Johnson, Ross (July 6, 2005). "Product Placement for the Whole Family". Movies. New York Times. Archived from the original on May 29, 2015.
  6. ^ "Herbie: Fully Loaded". RottenTomatoes.com.
  7. ^ Herbie Goes Bananas Rotten Tomatoes
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 21, 2005). "Herbie: Fully Loaded movie review (2005) | Roger Ebert". rogerebert.com.
  9. ^ Thomas, William (January 1, 2000). "Herbie: Fully Loaded". Empire.

External links[edit]