Having cut her milk teeth on The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday, teen starlet Lindsay Lohan buckles up for yet another Disney remake in Herbie: Fully Loaded. The latest outing for the VW Beetle with the body of a bug and the heart of a champion is a cutesy affair that runs out of gas long before its big-race finale. But Lohan's feisty charm and Herbie's nostalgic appeal prove a winning combo that could herald a new lease of life for this surprisingly resilient franchise (37 years and counting).
Having paid due reverence to the Love Bug's former glories in a witty photo montage (complete with cameo appearance from Knight Rider's KITT), Loaded opens with the once legendary Herbie awaiting demolition at Crazy Dave's Scrap and Salvage. The future looks bleak for the battered bucket-of-bolts - until Maggie Peyton (Lohan), the spunky daughter of luckless racer Michael Keaton, arrives looking for a bargain.
She gets more than she bargained for once Herbie gets back on the road and up to his usual speed-freak tricks. Soon he and Maggie are tearing up the track, to the chagrin of her over-protective dad and the reigning NASCAR champ (Matt Dillon). But does Herbie have it in him to take the chequered flag?
If you need to ask that question, you clearly don't get to the pictures much. But what Loaded lacks in originality it makes up for in sheer rambunctiousness - despite some product placement that would put Bernie Ecclestone to shame.