The Pacifier (2005)

Pacifier

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Brad Garrett’s Awesome

Don’t you just love it when big tough guys step out of their comfort zone to do something completely out of their element? It shows diversity in their acting range, but sometimes you just got to ask yourself why? Diversity in acting range is one thing, belittling yourself for the amusement of others is another thing. We have seen it before in several Arnold Schwarzenegger films – such as Kindergarten Cop, every other Dwayne Johnson film in the last decade, but one tough guy that seems to have only made one attempt at this kind of role is Vin Diesel in The Pacifier.

After he fails to rescue a man out in the field, Lieutenant Shane Wolfe (Vin Diesel) is commanded by his superior to watch that man’s kids while simultaneously searching the house for a program the man created, entitled “ghost”.  Meanwhile, his superior takes the mother of the house Shane Wolfe is watching over to Zurich, where something of her husbands has surfaced in a safety deposit box, possibly leading more clues to the whereabouts of the program Wolfe is looking for. From this point on, childish hilarity ensues.

The whole concept to this film is absolutely ridiculous. Trying to convince the audience that a Navy Seal would be given a government sanctioned mission to babysit young kids is stupid. Is that the point? Yes. Is it a Disney film? Yes. So I can’t really say the writer was stupid, because this is a very specific type of film geared directly to a specific audience that likes this type of thing. That audience would typically not care how unbelievable the film is. Instead, the whole reason people go to see this is just to see a tough guy do the opposite of what you’re used to seeing them doing – hence…hilarity. Usually, these films have young kids as a central focus, and they are implemented for a couple of reasons. One is for humor, and the other is a life lesson. Not for the kids, mind you, but for the uptight tough guy.

Is it funny? Absolutely. In certain regards, it really is hilarious to see Vin Diesel do these things, and it’s almost completely without question that kids will be laughing the whole way through. It all makes sense why this film was made, even though the ridiculous factor was involved. The movie did take it a step too far by making Diesel do more than he had to do to hold the film in place. For instance, the live-in babysitter left, the girl scout leader left, the school play director left, so who was left taking over all of these duties? Why Lieutenant Shane Wolfe, of course. He knew his mission, and anyone knows that if you get too cluttered in your day-to-day routines, you will lose track on what you need to pay attention to. There was no reason to take on these duties other than to add hilarity and for, okay fine, Wolfe to learn an important life lesson when talking about love and empathy. In the end though, the ridiculous factor goes too far, there’s no way that his luck is bad enough where everyone around him so happens to quit, just for him to take up the duties.

Brad Garrett was one of the funniest parts of this movie – his role was one of the most believable, yet really effective roles for the comedy. Other than believing kids will be kids, I could totally believe Garrett could be a vice principle at a school, using his ego to feel better about the joke that is his role in the school. Furthermore, I could see kids watching this film and sensing the same thing upon watching him do his thing.

I think Vin Diesel did what he could with the role, and effectively did it in a way that could appeal to children, but nowadays, adults like to watch films with their children, and in order to do that, they need a solid reason not to say no. It should appeal to all ages in different ways, movies are simply more successful when they pull that off. Finding Nemo, for example, is an amazing movie that people will be enjoying for decades to come, The Pacifier isn’t.

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