The Pacifier

The easily entertained may be mollified by this unimaginative variation on KINDERGARTEN COP (1990), but anyone expecting more than formulaic pabulum will feel a temper tantrum coming on long before the film makes its way to the predictably happy ending. Assigned to coordinate a mid-ocean rescue operation, no-nonsense Navy S.E.A.L. Shane Wolfe (Vin Diesel)...read more

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Reviewed by Angel Cohn
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The easily entertained may be mollified by this unimaginative variation on KINDERGARTEN COP (1990), but anyone expecting more than formulaic pabulum will feel a temper tantrum coming on long before the film makes its way to the predictably happy ending. Assigned to coordinate a mid-ocean rescue operation, no-nonsense Navy S.E.A.L. Shane Wolfe (Vin Diesel) takes a bullet for government security expert Howard Plummer (Tate Donovan), but fails to save Plummer's life. Two months later, Wolfe is back on his feet and assigned to protect the Plummer kids while their grieving mom, Julie (Faith Ford), retrieves the contents of her late husband's Swiss safe-deposit box, which his commanding officer (Chris Potter) hopes will include the secrets of his top-secret satellite program, GHOST. The house is sheer chaos and the kids are classic comedy types: self-involved teenager Zoe (Brittany Snow) and her sullen, slightly younger brother, Seth (Max Thieriot); precocious middle child Lulu (Morgan York); toddler Peter (Keegan and Logan Hoover) and infant Tyler (Bo and Luke Vink). The Plummers have a nanny, the high-strung Helga (Carol Kane), so Shane assumes he's on straightforward security detail. He tries to rein in the out-of-control youngsters, who are already well on their way to driving their vice principal and wrestling coach (Brad Garrett) nuts, but Shane's coldly efficient approach only makes them hate him. Sure, he's only supposed to be assigned to their household for a few days, but would it kill him to learn the fatherless children's names instead of giving them impersonal IDs? Naturally, Helga abandons her difficult charges and Julie's overseas trip is extended, forcing Shane to shape up the Plummer crew with a little guidance from kindly and conveniently attractive Principal Claire Fletcher (Lauren Graham), while protecting them at any cost. Diesel is fine, if a bit bland, as Shane, upon whom every movie cliché of child-oriented torture for childless adults is visited: He changes diapers, does silly dances, has teenagers play pranks on him and is even forced to lead a Brownie-like troop. Most of the occasional chuckles are provided by the spunky York, who really gives Diesel a run for his money.

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  • Released: 2005
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: The easily entertained may be mollified by this unimaginative variation on KINDERGARTEN COP (1990), but anyone expecting more than formulaic pabulum will feel a temper tantrum coming on long before the film makes its way to the predictably happy ending. As… (more)

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