The extent I went into finding a copy of this movie is a rather trivial matter. My only reason for watching this is that I needed yet another fix of Bruce Campbell, and I can’t exactly keep on watching The Evil Dead trilogy and his various cameos in Sam Raimi and Coen Brothers productions. No, I needed something much bigger, a leading role perhaps. But those are few and far between, and The Love Bug is one of the few movies to offer up such a role.
Obviously going into this I knew it was going to be nothing special. Some late 90s Disney trash that hasn’t even released on DVD, that’s how few people watched this. A sequel to the Herbie movies, The Love Bug follows Hank Cooper (Bruce Campbell), a mechanic that crosses paths with the potentially demonic possessed Herbie.
Campbell does his best with what is essentially a direct-to-DVD output, with some of the strangest supporting performances gathered around him. His essential scenery chewing makes the movie all the more palatable and saves it from receiving a lower rating.
There’s some strange pieces to this movie. From Roddy Martel (Kevin J. O’Connor) believing he can speak to Herbie to a scene where Herbie becomes a low rider and attempts to give Campbell and co-starring love interest Alexandra Wentworth whiplash. That love sub-plot is truly horrendous, but it’s to be expected from a movie that seems to have been written by a six year old.
From the director of Ant-Man comes a film that has basically the same narrative strengths. Peyton Reed’s direction is similar in all of his movies, by that I mean recognisably bland and without his own voice. He’s a true nobody of film, a man that can’t seem to direct anything with substantial weight or unique significance. Not one of his directed pieces stand out as visually impressive or interesting, he’s a filler director for movies like this.
The Love Bug is borderline late-night viewing material. It’s oddly enjoyable because of Bruce Campbell clearly trying his best with an awful script and an over the top John Hannah performance. With some incredibly unbearable CGI and laughably poor supporting characters, it’s a sure fire hit for fans of shlock and awe cinema.