Everybody's a critic: 'The Pacifier'

Friday, March 11, 2005

Three stars (out of four)

"The Pacifier" is an entertaining film that is geared mostly toward the family, but creates laughs for everyone. It capitalizes on Vin Diesel's usual image (the kick-butt, blow everything up character) but puts a new refreshing twist on it.

This role shows a deeper side to Diesel, letting him flex his emotional muscles and reveal his charm and wit. Diesel is a Navy SEAL (Shane Wolfe) who is assigned to protect a family when a professor working on a top secret project is assassinated. Now their mother must go to Switzerland for the sake of national security.

So, a reluctant Diesel takes control of her family while she is gone. The kids naturally meet him with resistance, sabotaging his every move in hopes of getting him to leave. As the movie progresses you see a transformation in Diesel's character from an emotionally void rock to an open, loving father figure.

Diesel uses his military leadership skills to help the kids get through this hard time, all the while discovering a more sentimental and caring side to himself.

I highly recommend this movie to families, Vin Diesel fans, and anyone who is looking for a few chuckles.


Three-and-a-half stars (out of four)

I reluctantly headed for the theater to watch this movie, thinking that it would be another insipid "kid's" and "family" movie that only Disney would produce. I hoped the theater would leave the lights up high enough so I could work crossword puzzles while I suffered through the next hour-and-a-half without fidgeting too much.

Then BANG! -- I'm headed down a riotous road of entertainment. Nor does the bang end with a whimper. The action and tension carry through the entire show without letting up.

Vin Diesel's role as a lieutenant in the Navy SEALs proves that he can be more than just another Hollywood hulk. Assigned to watch and protect five kids ranging from diapers to teenagers, his primary secret mission is to search the house for the "Ghost," a software program which for obscure reasons needs to be found by us good guys to keep it out of the hands of the bad guys.

And, of course, being the Disney movie it is, boy meets girl and right overcomes wrong. But cornball it isn't. I highly recommend this movie for all ages because one never outgrows good slapstick like this.

Don't prejudge it, just let it roll over you and I guarantee you'll love the feeling. Oh, and the pacifier is not what you think it will be.

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