Movie Review: Diesel fails to fuel ‘Pacifier’

Matthew Loriso
Staff Writer

Anyone would be hard pressed to find a family film that can be wholeheartedly recommended for college students. “The Pacifier” is no exception.

Vin Diesel stars as Navy S.E.A.L Shane Wolfe. During a rescue mission, scientist Howard Plummer is shot and killed. As a result of this occurrence, Shane’s latest mission is to protect Plummer’s children from enemies that are trying to find a program that is hidden somewhere in the Plummer household.

“The Pacifier” is the type of movie that people are likely to walk out on. After just a few minutes, it becomes evident that this film is nothing more than “Mr. Nanny” with a slightly differing story. This would have been fine if it had been pulled off correctly.

The main problem is that the children are not likeable. The young kids serve no purpose other than to provide gas and vomit gags, and the teenagers come across as spoiled brats. Their goal for the first half of the movie is to make Shane’s life a nightmare by misbehaving. These hijinx are meant to add comedy to the story, but it ended up making me want Shane to smack them around.

Vin Diesel’s character is another story. He does not really do anything to make his character unlikable, but he lacks a certain flair that is necessary to make this kind of film appealing. For instance, in “Mr. Nanny,” Hulk Hogan had a quirky personality, which made watching him handle certain situations strangely fun. Vin Diesel, however, lacks personality.

However, this movie was not all bad. The story made a surprising U-turn at the halfway point when the kids realized that Shane was necessary for their protection.

At this point, the kids stopped being jerks, which allows the audience to actually care whether or not they survive.

They also had their own individual, “normal” problems, which Shane goes out of his way to help with, such as teaching the eldest daughter to drive.

There were also a couple of nicely choreographed, though short, fight scenes, which should entertain the older audience members. The best of which took place inside of a nursery as Shane used multiple items laying around to his advantage.

Granted, these fights do not rival those found in high profile action flicks, but it was nice to see Diesel doing what he does best: not talking.

Though the second half of the film was far less painful to watch than the first, I cannot recommend this movie to most people. If this review were for a children’s publication, my view on the film would have differed greatly. Kids will like it (if the children in the theater with me were any indication, kids will love it) but the typical college student should not waste his or her money.

Matthew Loriso can be reached at mloriso@ulv.edu.

Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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