That Time Vin Diesel Tried Comedy with The Pacifier (2005)

Plot: Having recovered from wounds received in a failed rescue operation, Navy SEAL Shane Wolfe is handed a new assignment: Protect the five Plummer kids from enemies of their recently deceased father — a government scientist whose top-secret experiment remains in the kids’ house.

I’m going through an action-comedy phase at the moment mostly because I’ve been feeling low and needed a lift. The Pacifier starring Vin Diesel is a movie that I have deliberately avoided up until now as I thought it looked terrible and to be fair it mostly is but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy some of it.

The opening 10 minutes features a surprisingly effective action scene with Diesel’s Navy SEAL on a rescue mission with his crew that goes wrong. Time passes and Shane Wolf (Diesel) is assigned to protect the family of the man who was killed in the opening scene as a secret experiment known as Ghost is somewhere in the family house. So it’s up to Shane to look after the family while their mother goes away and as you’d expect it does not go well.

The Pacifier reminds me of Kindergarten Cop but lacking the script, charm and laughs but as I said it still entertained with Diesel showing moderately more range than usual and it’s nice to see him in something other than the Fast & Furious franchise (although I wish the next Riddick movie would hurry up) …

The kids in the movie start off as obnoxious (of course) but predictably when they find out the threat against them is real and that Wolf can genuinely protect them they all eventually bond blah blah blah.

So it’s all by the numbers but I still laughed a few times and there were some fun action scenes including fights; I mean, this is family friendly stuff so don’t expect John Wick-style headshots , although wouldn’t it be awesome if there was?

Carol Kane has a small but humorous role as the family’s current babysitter and I was trying to remember why she looked familiar but that’s because she was the show stealing Ghost of Christmas Present from Scrooged. Also any movie that has a duck called Gary in it is worthy of an Oscar in my book…

The trick is with a movie like this is to watch it through the eyes of a child and enjoy it for the harmless fluff that it is. Would I ever watch it again? Probably not but I was expecting to hate this more than I did and it had some heart too so I would understand if people say this is a guilty pleasure movie.

John Debney’s score is suitably exciting when it needs to be and although it’s not especially memorable it works for the material.

Overall, The Pacifier is mostly painful for adults to sit through but it had its moments and it’s nice to see Vin Diesel mumble in a different tone for once although I think he still says “family” a few times…