Herbie: Fully Loaded is a 2005 film by Buena Vista Pictures and Columbia Pictures in some countries, starring Lindsay Lohan alongside Michael Keaton, Matt Dillon, Breckin Meyer and Justin Long. The movie features many NASCAR drivers, including Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, and more. It is the first theatrical Herbie film since Herbie Goes Bananas in 1980. It was also one of the very last movies to be released to the home video market in the VHS videotape format, which would eventually be entirely phased out and replaced with DVD.
During the opening credits, viewers are reintroduced to the once famous Herbie, known as "The Love Bug". It is revealed he was a famous racing car, but went into a decline which saw a slump in his fortunes on the racetrack before he was finally withdrawn from the sport, used as a taxi, and consigned to a junkyard, where he is condemned to demolition in a crusher.
The focus then shifts to a college graduation ceremony. There, Maggie Peyton (Lindsay Lohan) becomes the first of her family to receive a college degree, watched by her father Ray Peyton (Michael Keaton), owner of the Peyton Racing Team. The team, founded by Maggie's grandfather, has been famous in the past, but Maggie's brother Ray Jr. (Breckin Meyer), who is currently its driver, lacks skill or passion for racing, which has caused the team's sponsors to lose confidence. Maggie, under the influence of her family, was once a great street racer, but as a result of an accident, Ray refuses to let Maggie race again. Instead, Maggie is designated to go to New York to work as an assistant producer for ESPN.
Ray decides to buy Maggie a car as a graduation present. Due to their lack of money, all he can do is bring her to the junkyard. Maggie goes from car to car, never paying attention to Herbie although he is constantly trying to make himself noticed. When Maggie has chosen a car (a Nissan 240SX), Herbie drops from a crane onto it and Maggie buys Herbie instead. Upon entering Herbie, Maggie is given a wild ride through the junkyard, arriving in the garage of an old friend and would-be boyfriend of Maggie's, Kevin (Justin Long), who was Maggie's mechanic during her street races.
Kevin agrees to help fix Herbie and joins Maggie for a test drive. Again, Herbie takes over and races through town, bringing them to a car show featuring the current NASCAR champion, Trip Murphy (Matt Dillon). Maggie refuses to admit to anyone she owns Herbie who, annoyed, sprays oil on Maggie's shirt. There is a racing jumpsuit and helmet in the trunk, so Maggie changes into them. When she searches for the key, Herbie knocks Maggie into the helmet, which carries the name "Maxx". When Trip Murphy insults Herbie, he defaces Trip's prized street racing car (a Pontiac GTO). An offended Trip confronts the helmeted Maggie, and challenges her to a street race. Herbie takes over again, but eventually Maggie learns to control the car and rides a guard rail to pass Trip and win the challenge, ESPN filming the whole thing. Later that day, Ray Sr.'s main sponsor, Sally (Cheryl Hines), brings a tape record of the race to show Ray as a joke. Ray sees Herbie winning the race and confronts Maggie, who improvises the lie that 'Maxx' is a friend of Kevin who borrowed Herbie for the match.
In his workshop, Trip is ashamed of having lost to a Volkswagen Beetle. Seeking revenge, he sponsors a two-day, $10,000 challenge to all street racers. The first day is to be spent finding the local street champion; on the second day, Trip will challenge that champion to a match. Meanwhile, Kevin and Maggie restore Herbie with all manner of hi-tech gear. 'Maxx', as Maggie is called when hidden by her helmet, races and wins the first day of competition. That night, Trip approaches Maggie and lets her drive his NASCAR racing car, so as to distract her while trying to discover Herbie's secret. Maggie returns, and Trip, suspecting that 'Maxx' and Maggie are the same person, wagers his racing car against Herbie on the coming race, which Maggie accepts.
The next day, when Maggie, now a believer in Herbie's intelligence, urges him on so she can win Trip's car, an angry Herbie brakes before the line and refuses to complete the race. Maggie is further disgraced when she responds to Trip's command that she remove her helmet and reveal her identity. Trip loads Herbie up onto a transporting truck and takes him away as Ray rebukes Maggie for lying to him. Maggie, distraught and ashamed of her own behavior, approaches Trip to buy Herbie back, but finds he has already sold him to the owner of the local demolition derby. Maggie heads out to the arena and is shocked to see a trembling Herbie in the middle of the arena. She goes out into the arena to him, dodging the other competitors, and vows never to give up on him, where upon he resumes his customary agility, audacity, and finesse. He rescues Maggie from being flattened by a Monster Truck, ejects his former driver (one of Trip's team, Crash), and battles out of the arena with Maggie in control, destroying the Monster Truck with a pile-driver in the process and winning the derby as the other cars that had survived were abandonded when the Monster Truck arrived. Herbie survives, but is badly damaged by the fight. Maggie drives him to Kevin's garage for repairs, only to find that due to Kevin's mounting bills, he is unable to get the parts needed to fix him.
At Peyton Racing, Ray Jr. qualifies for the coming weekend's NASCAR race, but crashes and injures himself, leaving him incapable of driving. Maggie offers to drive in his place, but is refused by her father on the grounds that she is all that remains of her mother. At Kevin's garage, as a dejected Maggie and Kevin try half-heartedly to decide what to do with Herbie, the Peyton Racing Team arrive, led by Ray Jr. He tells Maggie he wants her to drive. Maggie agrees, on the condition that she drives Herbie and no other car, and Herbie is rebuilt by the team into a NASCAR racer.
The next day, Maggie and Herbie arrive at the California Speedway for the race, and Trip is left flabbergasted that Herbie is still around, but NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson take a liking to Herbie. The race begins; Herbie and Maggie are at first left behind, but slowly progress towards the front of the field. When Herbie gets boxed in by the other cars, Maggie is contacted over the radio by her father, who has come to help her reach victory, having realized that he should support her. When the car behind Herbie knocks him onto the car before, he clambers over it and continues his advance. However, Herbie's oil tanks are damaged, and the mechanics replace it with one taken from Sally's New Beetle. Though this has temporarily solved the problem, Maggie is warned to be careful not to bump into the other cars, as it may put Herbie in danger. Maggie considers surrendering the race, but Herbie refuses to give up hope. He resumes the race, and soon brings himself to the attention of Trip Murphy.
Trip's crew chief desperately advises him to concentrate on the race now and on revenge later; but he disregards the advice, and tries repeatedly to crush Herbie and Maggie against the outside wall. Maggie hits the brakes, Trip misses, and his car hits the wall at full speed, loses control and lands upside down in front of Maggie. Herbie, at this, rolls onto the catch fencing above Trip, rotates off, lands back on the ground and takes the checkered flag to win. The crowd, having grown engrossed in Herbie's progress, celebrates his and Maggie's triumph as Herbie performs donuts on the infield.
Trip's frustration at having lost spectacularly combines with his correct guess that Herbie is "alive", causing him to berate Herbie in a manner that leads his teammates to brand him insane, and he is incarcerated. Kevin's romantic interest in Maggie is finally fulfilled when Herbie knocks them together and they kiss one another. It is indicated that Ray Jr. faked his depth perception injury to give Maggie a chance when he snatches an arrangement of flowers that Maggie had thrown onto his bad side. Herbie, too, is given romantic fulfillment when Ray permits him to court Sally's yellow New Beetle. Ray, however, insists on a curfew. After Sally persuades him to let them go, they drive off on their date.
|Lindsay Lohan||Maggie Peyton||Main character|
|Michael Keaton||Ray Peyton, Sr.||Maggie's dad|
|Matt Dillon||Trip Murphy||Drives the Cheetos #82|
|Breckin Meyer||Ray Peyton, Jr.||Maggie's brother|
|Justin Long||Kevin||One of Maggie's friends|
|Cheryl Hines||Sally||Ray Jr.'s sponsor representative|
|Jill Ritchie||Charisma||Another one of Maggie's friends|
|Thomas Lennon||Larry Murphy|
|Jeremy Roberts||Crazy Dave||The owner at the junkyard|
|Peter Pasco||Juan Hernandez|
|Mario Larraza||Miguel Hernandez|
|Allen Bestwick||Himself||TNT Race Announcer|
|Benny Parsons||Himself||TNT Race Color Commentator/Former NASCAR driver|
|Jeff Gordon||Himself||Drives the Du Pont #24|
|Jimmie Johnson||Himself||Drives the Lowe's #48|
|Dale Jarrett||Himself||Drives the UPS #44|
|Tony Stewart||Himself||Drives the Home Depot #20|
|Stuart Scott||Himself||ESPN broadcaster|
|US Domestic Gross:||$66,023,816|
|+ Other International Takings:||$78,110,000|
|Gross Worldwide Takings:||$144,133,816|