The Pacifier Review

Image for The Pacifier

Navy SEAL Shane Wolfe (Diesel) is assigned to protect five children after the death of their scientist father, who may have hidden top-secret technology in the family home. While their mother is away, Wolfe decides to bring discipline to the lives of the troubled tots.


No sooner has Vin Diesel made a dent in the action market than he's sending himself up as a hardman-turned-nanny, Arnie-style. But while Schwarzenegger managed to raise laughs contradicting his macho persona in films like Kindergarten Cop, xXx star Diesel shows little aptitude for comedy in this family caper. He's given no assistance by the poorly-paced script, which moves from a laborious set-up to a baptism of fire in which Wolfe's greatest challenges involve changing nappies and grounding not-so-errant teenagers. That there's little sense of threat to the children's lives makes his presence seem even more contrived.

As if in search of a link to established family fare, the film makes several nods to The Sound Of Music - at first relatively subtle (the children's mother is called Julie Plummer) and later painfully explicit, as a performance of the show is worked into the plot. But the comparisons only make it clearer that this attempted reverse of the story - naval man brings military discipline into relaxed, happy-go-lucky family - fails on both an emotional and comedic level.

While there are flashes of entertainment in the fight scenes and the occasional laugh at the expense of Diesel's bald head and man-boobs, this insipid family comedy is best summed up by another scene: the one that sees Diesel covered head to toe in shit.