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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Herbie Goes Bananas

**½ Herbie Goes Bananas. Comedy.

Directed by: Vincent McEveety

Starring: Cloris Leachman, Harvey Korman, Joaquin Garay III

This is what happens when you make one too many sequels of a popular family movie. Eventually, there's the temptation to dumb it down.

The nephew of Herbie's original owner goes to Mexico to pick up the little car with a friend, hoping to take it down to Brazil to enter a race. Unfortunately, they run into a young pickpocket, Paco (Joaquin Garay III), and end up too broke to get to the race.

So on the cruise ship, they befriend a woman (Cloris Leachman) and her studious daughter, and the woman agrees to sponsor them.

Unfortunately, that's the closest Herbie gets to the racetrack in this movie.

Meanwhile, Paco's gotten into worse trouble, picking the wrong pocket, and Herbie befriends him, and most of the movie is hijinks with Herbie, now called "Ocho," and Paco.

The brightest spot in the movie is when the cruise ship captain (Harvey Korman) and Cloris Leachman's character join Ocho and Paco in a bullfight.

The kid, I suppose, was supposed to be cutely mischievous, but I just found him annoying (pickpocketing is cute?). I wasn't alone. My sons were very vocal in their dislike of Paco.

I never understand why they do this: putting a kid in the place of an adult role. It hardly ever works. The original movie and the first few sequels were good and very funny, had semi-realistic adult characters, and--*golly*--kids still liked them. I suppose it's a matter of taste--I don't seem to share Hollywood's fascination with obnoxiously precocious children.


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I think you are too kind to that dog of a sequel.
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