Herbie: Fully Loaded is a 2005 American sports comedy film directed by Angela Robinson from a screenplay by Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant, and Smallville developers Alfred Gough and Miles Millar. The film is the sixth and final installment in the Herbie film series, following the television film The Love Bug (1997), and the first theatrical film since Herbie Goes Bananas (1980). It serves as a direct sequel to the previous films. The film stars Lindsay Lohan, Justin Long, Breckin Meyer, Matt Dillon, and Michael Keaton. It features cameos by many NASCAR drivers, including Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Dale Jarrett.

Herbie: Fully Loaded
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAngela Robinson
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Thomas Lennon
  • Robert Ben Garant
  • Mark Perez
Based onCharacters
by Gordon Buford
Produced byRobert Simonds
CinematographyGreg Gardiner
Edited byWendy Greene Bricmont
Music byMark Mothersbaugh
Distributed byBuena Vista Pictures Distribution
Release dates
Running time
100 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$50 million[1]
Box office$144.1 million[1]

Herbie: Fully Loaded had its premiere at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on May 10, 2005, and was released in the United States on June 22, 2005, by Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but positive reception from fans and audiences of the Herbie franchise. The film was a box-office success, grossing over $144 million against a budget of $50 million.[1]

Plot edit

Herbie, a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own, is decommissioned and towed to a junkyard after losing several races. Maggie Peyton, the youngest member of the Peyton racing clan, graduates from college and is preparing to take up an internship with ESPN. Her father, Ray Peyton Sr., takes her to the junkyard to buy her a car as a graduation present, and she chooses Herbie after he wriggles free of a crane, landing on top of the car she originally selected. Herbie then 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.

Kevin happily suggests that Maggie should race full-time, but Ray Sr. is concerned, having forbidden Maggie to race due to a street racing accident years ago. Trip becomes obsessed with Herbie and the mysterious driver and organizes a local racing competition to lure Herbie back for a rematch. Maggie and Kevin enter the event, with Herbie being given a new 'street racer look' and new parts. Herbie and Maggie easily defeat the other competitors and qualify for the final match with Trip, but when Trip talks Maggie into racing for pink slips, Herbie's jealousy over Maggie's desire to win Trip's stock car causes him and Maggie to lose the race. Maggie is publicly embarrassed, Herbie is towed away, and both Kevin and Ray Sr. express their disappointment with Maggie over her respective actions.

However, encouraged by her friend Charisma, Maggie decides to race professionally. She tries to buy Herbie back from Trip, but finds that Trip has entered Herbie in a demolition derby. Desperate to save Herbie from destruction, Maggie rushes to the arena, runs onto the field while the derby is in progress, and pleads with Herbie to forgive her. After saving Maggie from being crushed by a monster truck, the two manage to escape the arena and win the derby. They return to Kevin's workshop, where the badly-damaged Herbie collapses from exhaustion.

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 rebuild Herbie into a NASCAR racer. At the race track, Maggie and Herbie have a heart-to-heart conversation, whilst Trip ominously warns Maggie that the race will be dangerous.

Herbie and Maggie start the race slowly, but they eventually catch up and begin 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 team to act as Maggie's crew chief. Back on track, Herbie is soon boxed in by some other cars, but escapes by driving directly over Tony Stewart’s car, damaging Herbie's oil system. Maggie makes another pit stop and the team 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, though the jerry-rigged oil system is fragile.

With the last few laps remaining, Maggie and Herbie catch up to Trip. Trip, bent on defeating Herbie once and for all, tries to force Maggie into the track wall when she tries to pass him, but crashes himself when she slams on the brakes during his next attempt, resulting in him hitting Jeff Gordon and flipping onto his roof. Herbie passes Trip's car, now upside down on the track, by climbing onto the catch fencing. After landing back on the track, Maggie and Herbie take the chequered flag, and Maggie becomes the next Peyton to win a NASCAR race. Maggie is congratulated by her father and brother, and Trip (who is believed to be insane when he tries to convince others that Herbie is sentient) is driven away in an ambulance as Maggie and Kevin kiss. The film ends with Ray speaking with Herbie and Sally's New Beetle (which is revealed to be sentient as well), telling them not to stay out too long on their date as Herbie and Maggie have another race coming up.

Cast edit

Herbie in his "Street Race" look
  • Lindsay Lohan as Margaret "Maggie" Peyton, a college graduate who later becomes the new owner of Herbie.
  • Michael Keaton as Ray Peyton Sr., Maggie's father.
  • 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.
  • Justin Long as Kevin, Maggie's love interest.
  • Breckin Meyer as Ray Peyton, Jr., Maggie's brother
  • Cheryl Hines as Sally
  • Thomas Lennon as Larry Murphy, Trip's brother.
  • Jimmi Simpson as Crash, Trip Murphy's tech assistant
  • Jill Ritchie as Charisma
  • Jeremy Roberts as Crazy Dave
  • Monica Manning as Monica Armstrong

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]

Several racing personalities appear in cameo roles as themselves, including UNH announcer Allen Bestwick, 1973 NASCAR champion Benny Parsons and ESPN broadcaster Stuart Scott. Various real-life NASCAR drivers and/or their cars from the 2004 racing season can also be seen, including Dale Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (car only), Casey Mears (car only), Kasey Kahne, Jeremy Mayfield (car only), Tony Stewart, J. J. Yeley, 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), Greg Biffle (car only), Jamie McMurray (car only), Rusty Wallace (car only), Brian Vickers, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch (car only), Elliott Sadler (car only), Matt Kenseth (car only), Michael Waltrip (car only), Ryan Newman (car only), Scott Riggs (car only), Boris Said, Joe Nemechek (car only), Bill Elliott (car only), Sterling Marlin (car only), Jeff Burton (car only), Ken Schrader (car only), Morgan Shepherd (car only), Jeff Fuller (car only), Bobby Hamilton Jr. (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 s*** 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 August 2, 2004, in Los Angeles[4] and wrapped up later that same November.[5] During the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series season, drivers Dale Jarrett and Scott Riggs ran special paint schemes to promote the film.[6]

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, General Motors also provided the 2005 Chevrolet Corvette and 2005 Pontiac GTO for use in race scenes as well.[a][7]

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 in September 4–5, 2004. 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 Fast and the Furious can be seen among the cars. KITT from the classic Knight Rider series also makes a cameo in the newspaper during the opening sequence.[citation needed] ABC Family aired a making-of featurette titled Herbie: Fully Loaded and Retooled, hosted by Lohan, on June 21, 2005, to promote the film release.[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

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 41% based on 143 reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10. The site's critics consensus states that "Herbie: Fully Loaded is a decent kids movie that is pretty undemanding for adult viewers."[8] The film is the second-lowest rated entry in the franchise, with Herbie Goes Bananas scoring a 40% rating.[9] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 47 out of 100 based on 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade "A" on an A+ to F scale.[11]

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."[12] William Thomas of Empire 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."[13]

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
2005 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress Comedy: 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
Singles from Herbie: Fully Loaded
  1. "First"
    Released: May 10, 2005[14]

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 recordings 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 and put the British sensation into the American market, 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 OrganizationHerbie: Fully Loaded remix
  15. Black Smoke Organization – "Herbie vs. NASCAR"

Video game edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ The 2004 Pontiac GTO was a rebadged, third-generation Holden Monaro.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "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. ^ "Lindsay Lohan T4Sunday MeanGirls Interview 2004". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-05.
  5. ^ "Herbie: Fully Loaded Movie Preview, Starring Lindsay Lohan and Michael Keaton, Directed by Angela Robinson".
  6. ^ "April 16 – Today in Jayski's NASCAR history". Jayski's Silly Season Site. April 16, 2020. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  7. ^ Johnson, Ross (July 6, 2005). "Product Placement for the Whole Family". Movies. New York Times. Archived from the original on May 29, 2015.
  8. ^ "Herbie: Fully Loaded". RottenTomatoes.com.
  9. ^ "Herbie Goes Bananas". Rotten Tomatoes.
  10. ^ "Herbie Fully Loaded". Metacritic. Retrieved 2021-09-11.
  11. ^ Brandon Gray (June 27, 2005). "'Batman' Sweeps 'Bewitched,' Swats Bug". Box Office Mojo. Herbie's audience was comprised of families, and they seemed to like it, grading it an "A," according to CinemaScore.
  12. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 21, 2005). "Herbie: Fully Loaded movie review (2005)". Chicago Sun-Times – via RogerEbert.com.
  13. ^ Thomas, William (5 Aug 2005). "Herbie: Fully Loaded". Empire.
  14. ^ "Radio & Records" (PDF). Worldradiohistory.com. 2005-05-06. Retrieved 20 March 2022.

External links edit