It surprised many people when Vin Diesel signed on to do "The Pacifier," a quintessential kid's movie. Hell, Hulk Hogan did it with "Suburban Commando," Arnold did it with "Jingle All the Way" and Sly Stallone did it with "Spy Kids," so why not Vin Diesel?
And you know what? Diesel may be smarter than we give him credit. After all, he abandoned the sequel to "Fast and the Furious," a movie that was financially successful but downright terrible. Then he abandoned the sequel to "XXX," and we all know how much of a flop that sequel was. And most to his credit, "The Pacifier" was an all-out hit.
First off, "The Pacifier" is a kid's movie and is meant for kids. These films are always difficult to review since I do not lie within the targeted audience. "The Pacifier," about a Navy SEAL forced to take on nanny duty to protect several kids of various ages from their dead father's enemies, has all the antics you would expect from such a film - some pretty tamed down action, some baby poop jokes, an evil gym coach and a plot where the kids start off horrible and finally fall in line under the hard boot of a military man. The movie is as cliché as they come, but then again, from a kid's perspective, it's all in good fun.
If you have kids and don't mind them watching a bit of PG-rated violence, "The Pacifier" is a pretty harmless film. Sure, it deals with people getting killed and all that, but what kid's movie doesn't these days? Diesel, the latest tough guy to be set against even tougher kids, holds his own and delivers a mildly enjoyable performance. There are some funny jokes that even parents or older kids will enjoy; if you have to sit through it while watching it with your children it isn't the end of the world.
In the end, though, "The Pacifier" will only really appeal to a younger age bracket. Don't bother if you're not trying to shut some kids up for a couple of hours.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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