The Pacifier


A Disney film about a Navy Seal played by Vin Diesel, who has to protect the children of a man of vital national security importance? Hmmm… I just had to see how Vin did – was he capable of pulling this off?

I like Diesel; I find his screen presence very impressive – whether in rubbish films like The Fast and the Furious or good films like… wait, he hasn’t been in any good films. xXx was a superlative action film, but is hardly quality cinema. He has a charm and a magnetism that lends him viewability, irrespective of the film he’s in. So I had to see The Pacifier.

The PacifierThere isn’t too much that’s great about this film. Diesel is Diesel – tough guy, extremely competent killer, heart in the right place (“we never leave a man behind”), but a little underdeveloped socially. Place him in a family home, with five children, and no parents, and he becomes the only authority figure. Madcap fun for the whole family ensues. Right.

There is an underlying plot of danger to the children, as persons unknown want their father’s invention, at any cost. The kids however, are having none of it, wanting to continue testing the patience of their protector, always looking for the weak point. Inevitably, this is Disney after all, their own personal crises mesh perfectly with their guardian angels’ skills, everyone ends up happier and more rounded than ever before, and the hero is changed forever too. For where would we be without a moral lesson? Scared our children may learn to think for themselves, Disney takes that burden for them, and tells us all how we should feel about family and friends, loyalty and respect.

There are moments of fun, and there is one classic sequence that any fan of Diesel’s chiselled form will love, but that’s about it. The children are suitably charming and eventually show their hearts-of-gold. What’s not to like?

Rating: 2.0 stars
Review by Mark Lavercombe, 27th March 2005
Hoopla Factor: 2.5 stars

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