Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno
|Featuring||Lindsay Lohan, Justin Long, Breckin Meyer, Matt Dillon, Michael Keaton|
|Distributor||Walt Disney Pictures|
Herbie, after a long hiatus is back. I remember watching the Herbie movies as a kid and loving them. I now wonder if I watched them today if I would love them or if it was just a kid thing.
Herbie, for those of you who don’t know, is a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle who has a mind of his own. Maggie (Lindsay Loohan) Peyton is from a family of NASCAR winners. Her dad played by Michael Keaton is determined to keep her away from the family business.
The movie opens with Maggie graduating from college with a degree in journalism. She has a job lined up after summer vacation. Her dad takes her to the local junkyard to buy a summer car, and Herbie chooses Maggie. She is then reunited with a high school friend, Kevin, who helps her fix Herbie.
This is the classic story of good versus evil with the added storyline of a daughter who has to pave her way against daddy’s wishes. Maggie wins a street race against the sinister, yet popular Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon). Herbie sees through Trip and provides plenty of random comic mischief (squirting oil, raising and lowering his hood, slamming his doors, etc.). Maggie lies to her dad about racing because racing is in her blood.
I watched this movie with two other adults, two teenage boys, three pre-teen girls, and a 2-½ year old. We all laughed at some point in the movie and at different things. There was plenty of slapstick humor, and some of what we laughed at was the sheer stupidity of some situations. I think we all enjoyed this movie at some level, however, my toddler was afraid during some scenes when Herbie takes control of the driving.
One has to wonder how Herbie can do all he does. Is it because he has magical powers, is he possessed, or does he live because he is loved? This issue is never addressed and because of computer animation our children are raised with objects doing things that they can never really do.
Although this movie is rated “G”, Herbie does have some objectionable content. Maggie lies to her dad and breaks a promise. However, he does say to her, “I thought I raised you to be honest.” She experiences a low point when because of her actions (lying and deceit), she loses Herbie and the trust of her dad and her friend. Maggie does take responsibility for her actions and lying. However, Maggie also says “Oh my God” about 8 times with several other references to God. I wonder if Disney intentionally takes God’s name in vain to irritate Christians or if it is so commonplace in our language today that they don’t even have to script it.
At a drive-in movie, there is a scene of a skeleton running—taken from “A Scary Movie 2.” The clothing worn is typical of our culture, crop tops, low cut tops and a short skirt. There are also several minor sexual innuendos: Herbie raises his antenna at a younger Beetle, Trip yells to get pictures of girls along with phone numbers, etc.
This movie is not going to win any awards; I view it as a family movie that leaves you feeling good. The good versus evil theme was played over and over. At one point, it appears that evil has triumphed. Trip Murphy (dressed in all black—my 2 ½ year old called him the bad guy) wins Herbie. One might think that Satan has won on Earth, but we are reminded in Scripture that Jesus will come again to take back what is rightfully His. And as in all Disney movies, in the end, good triumphs, and Herbie ends up back in his rightful owner’s hands.
Violence: Minor / Profanity: Minor / Sex/nudity: Minor