As handled by director Angela Robinson, Herbie: Fully Loaded offers a first-rate entertainment that respects the source material without copying it or settling for nostalgia. The film quickly establishes the relationships between the main characters and allows their motivations to carry the story. The special effects in the film are unobtrusive, and occasionally Robinson uses similar processes that were utilized during the original Herbie films to make that cute little car do the impossible. The rock-solid editing allows the laughs to flow and builds suspense during the action sequences, without milking either. There is a bright, friendly look and feel to the film that puts audiences at ease, and assists the actors as they win over the audience. Even with a certain amount of tabloid baggage at this point in her career, Lindsay Lohan still manages to capture a smart girl-next-door vibe that few of her contemporaries can manage. She is genuinely appealing, and understands how to earn an audience's affection. Lohan gets first-rate support from Michael Keaton as a good father still in mourning over the loss of his wife, and outstanding comedic assistance from Justin Long who in his opening scene manages one of the most perfectly executed pratfalls captured on film in quite some time. The MPAA's G rating is often associated with kid-only films, but the sweet and likable Herbie: Fully Loaded earns its G rating by reminding viewers of a time when that rating meant the film can be enjoyed by all audiences.
by Perry Seibert review