Film — The Pacifier (PG)
The Pacifier (PG)

by Amy Diaz

Vin Diesel skips action-hero-superstardom and goes right to the Kindergarten Cop phase in his career with the wacky-sitcom-like tale of a Navy SEAL sent to protect a family of suburbanites in The Pacifier.

Dude, The Chronicles of Riddick are not laurels on which one can rest. You’re a sexy little man, Vin Diesel, so, for the love of god, PICK BETTER MOVIES. A bald head and a deep voice aren’t going to carry you forever.

Shane Wolf (Vin Diesel — honestly, “Shane Wolf” is the best we could do in the name department?) is an all-business military man who is sent to rescue an important scientist from some nameless baddies. The scientist is killed and Shane is injured but the military wants him to protect the scientist’s family because his secret invention (a thing that prevents missiles from launching) might still be in the family’s home. 

So cue the Leave It to Beaver music as we meet the Plummer family. Teenaged Zoe (Brittany Snow) is all sass and poor driving skills, her slightly younger brother Seth (Max Thieriot) is 120 pounds of gloom, LuLu (Morgan York) is a precocious Firefly girl and two younger boys serve as vessels for poop and fart jokes. Shane, all order and precision, isn’t quite used to the juice-box and minivan world of the Plummers and is at a loss when mom Julie (Faith Ford) has to head out of town and nanny Helga (Carol Kane) skips out after being thrown up on one time too many. Luckily, he has the help of understanding principal Claire Fletcher (Lauren Graham) as well as one of those two-kid backpack things that lets him lug around the two non-verbal family members to assorted kid crises.

The Pacifier is one of those movies that leaves you thinking more about the actors and the sad state of their careers — who didn’t love Vin in Boiler Room or the cheesetacular The Fast and the Furious — and less about the paint-by-numbers plot or the one-dimensional acting. The movie is safe for families in the same way that Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese is a safe choice for dinner but honestly how many bites can a sentient adult take of powdered, orange cheese-like product?

The Pacifier is a bad movie but more than that it is an annoying movie because its badness is so unnecessary. Last year’s The Incredibles proved that family movies do not have to suck, that they can in fact have layers that provide thoughtful, fun entertainment for all ages and sizes.

You did it to yourself, Hollywood.

- Amy Diaz

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