It could have, because it was pretty poor in some way, but the whole thing reminded me of the original Love Bug. And my childhood.
Sorry for that. Let's face it, nobody wanted to know Herbies origin (which idea was very very ... way off) and the special effects were just basic (although they convinced me in the half-driving sequence). The scene my eyes gone wet was of course ol' Jim Douglas reunited with our pal Herbie. Aaaaaooowwwwwwhhhhhh! Joy.
The score by Shirley Walker and Kristopher Carter (Batman Beyond(!)) was alright, although I wished to have this whistle theme from the original included.
Anyway, as one of the other reviewers said: a cute film. Or was it remake?
The race could have been faster... that's for sure!
This delightful car comedy displays great loads of amusement , fantastic race cars , slapstick , fun , giggles , chases are great fun to watch and being pretty entertaining . As always, Herbie the love bug , is helping the young couple -Bruce Campbell ,Alexandra Wentworth- find romance but encountering all sorts of hilarious problems along the way . It's an enjoyable movie for kids and for those who enjoy cars racing round and round and bounds and leaps carried out by Herbie . Herbie The Love Bug was a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle deluxe ragtop sedan painted in Volkswagen L87 pearl White . Under normal circumstances, the interior would be a matching white. However, Herbie's interior was painted a special non-reflective grey color so the camera and studio lights would not reflect . The actors seem to enjoy immensely ,such as Bruce Campbell , Clarence Williams II , Kevin J. O'Connor and the ordinary Dean Jones play of sympathetic manner ; of course , there appears the mean-spirited villains performed by John Hanna , Dana Gould , both of whom are top notch . The latter roles bear remarkable resemblance to ¨Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines¨ . Colorful cinematography though a perfect remastering is necessary and jolly soundtrack by Shirley Walker including a lively leitmotif . However , being the only Herbie movie without the George Bruns original and classic theme .
This is a delightful film , a particular remake to original entry titled ¨The love bug¨(1968) by Robert Stevenson with Dean Jones, Michele Lee , David Tomlinson , Buddy Hacket and Joe Flynn . This first version " Love Bug ¨ results to be the best one , it is amusing story with lots of laughs but is a family film . It's one of the best and funniest of ¨Herbie¨ series . It was followed by ¨Herbie rides again (1974)¨ also by Robert Stevenson starred by Ken Berry , Stefanie Powers and Helen Hayes ; it's followed by ¨Herbie goes to Montecarlo¨ with Dean Jones , Don Knotts and Julie Sommers ; followed by ¨Herbie goes bananas¨ (1980 , or Herbie Torero) by Vincent McEveety starred by Charles Martin Smith and Cloris Leachman , among others and this 1997-for-television-movie with Bruce Campbell and John Hanna and a TV series ; the most part were filmed by Robert Stevenson and Vincent McEveety and usually starred by Dean Jones . Furthermore , a recent version based on the characters created by Bill Walsh starred by Linsay Lohan , Justin Long and Matt Dillon , being directed by Angela Robinson . The motion picture was professionally directed by Peyton Reed , though with no originality and it has nothing to do with original film . Peyton is a prestigious actor , writer , producer and filmmaker who has achieved great successes such as ¨Bring it on¨, ¨The break-up¨ , ¨Down with love and and especially ¨Yes Man¨ . Rating : Acceptable , 5,5/10 , worthwhile watching . Amusing and engaging film with effective combination of adequate special effects , live action , adventure , fantasy and humor . The children will get a kick out of this typical ¨Love Bug¨ film ,it's a great fun to watch and there are loads of entertainment in this one .
The film is only available on VHS. Interestingly enough there are Disney movies advertised on the VHS for certain movies that have either been released or will be released on VHS and DVD. So why was this never released on DVD if it has ads for films on DVD? Is it worth it? Lets See!
The acting minus the villain (John Hannah from the Mummy films) and the actors from the previous movie really are not that great. Even Bruce Campbell , though a good actor in other films, is not here. The acting brings the movie down several notches. I mean it looks like a TV movie, which it is. The film even has Mickey from The Monkees.
Despite several acting flaws the movie asks the right question. How can Herbie do the things he does? A car can't do wheelies? This question drives the action of the characters. That is good. The question results in finding the original maker of the car. We learn how Herbie got life. That is also good. We learn that Herbie adjusts to the person who owns him. His role in people's lives is explained and understood. That is also good. The name 'The Love Bug' is given to an article the main female character writes about Herbie. Jim Douglas hears this comment as an idea he has never heard before but finds interesting and satisfactory. We see Herbie's evil brother Horrace. Evil Brother? The maker of the car was found so he can make a car for the villain. He ends up making an anti-Herbie. An evil Herbie. This Herbie is named Horace as I said before. This evil Herbie ends up killing the good Herbie. But with help from Herbie's maker and a special guest appearance from Jim Douglas, he comes back to life. After Herbie is brought back to life, Doug Jones cameo is over and he says 'I'm not needed anymore' and walks off in the distance. What an interesting way to write someone off.
In order to control the Horace, the Irish villain puts a Wheel Lock on the steering wheel. I thought that was an interesting little bit. He then challenges Good Herbie to race Evil Herbie. Winner takes all. It is then interesting to watch Horace race Herbie. But it is not just a race , but a battle between good and evil.
As they race , Horace has been installed with all types of tricks he uses to cheat in the race. What happens in the race you'll have to fine a local library to view a copy. Or you can buy it at Amazon. The plot line and the concepts of this movie would make this worth adding to your library but only after getting all the other Herbie's first. Maybe this is a step above 'Fully Loaded'. I haven't yet re-watched the older ones but am sure they are excellent. They were when I watched them last, but I might have more sense now.
If the new 'Love Bug', had better acting and took more TLC into the production, it would be an outstanding film and would be on DVD. But alas they allowed the poor acting and underdeveloped script to proceed without taking more time to develop their really interesting premise. But the premise is enough to keep the film interesting enough and keeps the film from completely sucking. But what it could have been. It's a better made for TV sequel then 'The Parent Trap II' proving that not all made for TV sequels are not all bad.
One last thing. The villain utters the line in the end, "I'll get you and your little bug too.
Having said that, let me continue by saying they screwed up pretty bad. There were many major mistakes in this film (which had a good idea and was set up to be a nice nostalgia fest) that really drug the whole thing down. Here's a list, in no particular order. WARNING: The following contains info that could be seen as spoilers.
1. Herbie. Call me a perfectionist, but Herbie just looks wrong here. He should have a gray interior and sunroof, not white. The racing stripes are supposed to be painted on the sunroof, too. The 53' is up way too high on the hood and it's the wrong font as well. They managed to get these things right all through four feature films and a TV series, why not here?
2. Kevin J. O'Connor. I know he's supposed to be an artist, but this guy is just waaaaay too creepy for my taste. It was a good thing in `The Mummy', but here it's out of place.
3. The origin story. I'm sorry, but this just does not jive with what we've been told before. The impression given in `Herbie Rides Again' was that some machines just develop personalities. And did Dr. Stumpfel also build the Lancia in `Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo'? Plus, I'd like to think my government is not THAT stupid. I found their portrayal of our military in here fairly insulting. Plus, in the eighteen years it took to build Herbie, you'd think they'd figure out it was just a translation error.
4. The final race. It was SLOW. In the other films you got a sense of speed. Here it seems like both cars are going thirty-five, a situation which one shot shown at high speed just doesn't fix. Plus, unlike the previous films there is absolutely no suspense about Herbie winning. The character of Simon Moore seems to almost go out of his way to make it easy for them. (Also, Chuck's car troubles were barely worth the first scene with them, we definitely didn't need to cut back to him two more times.)
5. CGI effects. Back in the sixties and seventies, Disney, using only some creative editing and some mechanical know-how, made Herbie appear to do amazing things. It was cheap and you knew it was an effect, but the end result always seemed to look pretty good. Now it's the days of digital effects and we have a digital Herbie. It screams `FAKE!' Unlike the old effects, it's impossible to suspend your disbelief watching this thing. Come on Disney, you sometimes need a guy with a wrench, not a computer, to make things look good.
6. Title. Thanks to lack of creativity in thinking up a title, most people think this film's a remake. It's not. Although it shares a bit of story arc with the original, this is a new film.
7. Horace. The idea of an evil Herbie is seriously creepy, but the filmmakers didn't do much with it. Horace seems to be only a fraction of the menace he could have been.
8. Writing. The dialogue is terrible. It sometimes seems like they wrote the children's novelation first, then the script.
9. Bruce Campbell. Bruce, I really like you as an actor, but could at some point in this film, try acting a just a bit? Just a suggestion.
Well, having said what was wrong, I want to mention something they got very right. The scene where Jim Douglas gets behind the wheel of Herbie for first time in years is a great piece of acting. You can practically see the memories running through his head. It was so perfect, it bought a tear to my eye. Good work, Dean.
"Herbie's back in a Brand new movie!"-The Love Bug (1997)
The tag lines of the worst movies of '97...with the same meaning.
The first thing what I want to say, I am A REALLY BIG FAN of Herbie 'cause I was grow up on his films, I loved the jokes the tricks, the music and the characters-even the evil ones-and I'll love the "Herbie Movies" as long as I live.
But NOT THIS waste of celluloid. This movie is stupid, pesky, and bad as "Alien:Resurrection".
Why? Because the story is VERY stupid, the characters are simply idiots-professor Stumpfel(?!)-and the theme music is pesky, just like in "Alien:Resurrection".
And the worst thing in the whole movie: Horace, The Evil Twin of Herbie. Laughably Stupid. Just like the "Newborn-Alien" in "Alien:Resurrection".
And, the genesis of Herbie. Stupid! I mean who's idea was , Herbie was build by a German SCIENTIST, AND HE HAS GOT HIS "SOUL" FROM THE PHOTOGRAPH OF STUMPFEL'S GIRLFRIEND, WHAT FALLED INTO THE MELTING-POT?! BAD! And of course they've needed to build-again Herbie, It's the synonym of cloning Ripley, ain't? And the music, the music, the music, where is the good old "Herbie Theme" by George Bruns? Now We get only a corny, pesky, SILLY, BAD music. And where are the good old characters like Tennessee Steinmetz(Buddy Hackett) or Wheely Applegate(Don Knotts) or anybody from the original stuff?
THE ORIGINAL IS ALWAYS THE BEST!
So, if you are a Herbie-fan,or you just like Herbie movies, watch the old ones.
1/10- STUPID plot; BAD music; BAD characters.
The best part of the film is the back story of the origins of Herbie by a German scientist and how Herbie was created. Also, the fact that Dean Jones makes an appearance as Jim Douglas was a great touch. Bruce Campbell as Hank Cooper and John Hannah as Simon were great together.
Hopefully, soon, Disney will offer this film as part of their line of Exclusives in the Disney Movie Club.
The script is decent enough for a kids movie, but its the action sequences that are just so poor. The special effects are really bad and putting myself as a kid I'd have to say that they looked amateurish. In previous versions of Herbie there was a sense of believability about Herbies capabilities and that was lost in this version. Horace the Evil VW seemed under utilised, they should n't have killed him off. The most annoying thing for me was there was just no sense of speed or tension. When Herbie was split down the middle I just had no sympathy for my fave VW at all.
The acting is well, run of the mill. I guess most of the cast were not busy and it was money for nothing. I think this was John Hannahs first vehicle in the US market and he was reasonable. Liked his line where Herbie is split in two and he says 'oh a drivethru'. Bruce Campbell does it by the numbers. Dean Jones you can just imagine was the first person Disney phoned when they said they were going to make this. Still his attendance on this movie is needed and for fans of yester year well its a good touch.
The thing about this film is, if you had kids and they seen this first then it would be nigh on impossible to make them watch the early superior outings of one of the most famous cars in movie history.
I haven't seen the original "Love bug" but I'm sure this one could be just as good if not better than the original. It is great fun to watch, with some good special effects to go with. The all star cast really helps too. I can even remember almost crying at one stage.
Bruce Campbell is great in the lead role, even if this movie is different to his usual style, and Alexandra Wentworth is a great match. John Hannah is good in the bad guy role.
Overall, this movie is anything but a 'made for TV' movie and I'm giving it 7/10.
I Highly recommend it to people who are usually disappointed with Disney's usual straight to video sequels.
A few years ago I caught five minutes of this on TV and thought `cool, they remade The Love Bug' and wished I'd watched it. A few days ago I saw it coming back on so I gave it a watch and wondered why I bothered! It's not that the film is bad, it's just that it is all rather pointless. The plot lacks the charm of the original Herbie movies and has a nasty streak with the creation of an `evil Herbie' in place of just a fast car. The gentle feel of wonder is lost in this TVM and the film falters because of it.
The effects are poor even when you put them against the original Love Bug, here any computer altered visuals are crude and obvious and really make the film feel cheap. The cast all try hard to recreate the magic but none of them manage to do it not even a cameo by original star Dean Jones can get anything close to the original. Campbell is a cult star and I do like to see him in anything, but he could have done with being a bit more tongue in cheek here to add a bit of fun to the mix. Hannah is terribly miscast as the `baddie', he has no character, no lines and nothing to work with was he in it for the money or for the chance to be in a Herbie film?
Overall this is a real letdown. Disney try to get something going from the old Herbie stable but fail to do anything new or worthwhile. The film lacks any of the original's magic or wonder and just puts along. The original wasn't a classic but it shines when viewed next to this film. Small children and Herbie completeists should seek it out but the rest of us will be happy with the original.