Starring: Vin Diesel, Brittany Snow, Lauren Graham
Director: Adam Shankman
Running Time: 95 mins
The Pacifier is an American film about a Navy SEAL who is recruited to look after the children of a fallen colleague, and soon realises that parenting is a whole other world to life as a secret agent.
As plastic and ridiculous as Disney family films get, The Pacifier is far from a good movie, but it does at least have a chaotic, almost laughably bad energy to it. With middling performances across the board and a preposterous story, it’s generally uninteresting, but there are opportunities to laugh at it, albeit not in the ways the filmmakers would have hoped.
Of course, The Pacifier isn’t meant to be a cinematic masterpiece – it’s a light-hearted, pleasantly ridiculous and very simplistic family movie. With Vin Diesel in the lead role, it’s not the sort of film that would have ever been coming home from awards ceremonies with its hands full, but it does at least have a little bit of fun charisma at times.
Although his performance isn’t amazing – and his character is boring – Vin Diesel does have a little bit of that blockbuster charisma that we’ve seen in The Fast And The Furious series before, and nowadays see in similar films from Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.
He’s not particularly hilarious, but pulls off an entertaining dynamic with the five shouty kids he’s pitted against – making their various battles at home moderately entertaining.
Saying that, however, there’s not much else about The Pacifier that’s genuinely entertaining. Its most enjoyable moments come when it’s at its most ridiculous, from preposterous plot twists (especially in the insane final act) to abrupt and random tonal shifts throughout.
The Pacifier is first and foremost a family movie, and it has the light-hearted atmosphere to deliver fun for young viewers, but there are moments when it feels anything but, only provoking mocking laughter from you as the viewer rather than genuine enjoyment.
Even the silliest Disney movies have some degree of genuine entertainment or story intrigue, but The Pacifier is an often frustratingly dull watch. It’s perfectly harmless, and if you turn your brain off entirely, then you can sit back and bask in its plastic ridiculousness.
But for the most part, The Pacifier is far from a good watch, and very rarely provides any genuine enjoyability, so that’s why I’m giving it a 6.5 overall.