Movie Review by Ania Kalinowska

Starring: Vin Diesel, Lauren Graham, Faith Ford, Brittany Snow, Max Thieriot

Director: Adam Shankman

THE PACIFIER poster sports a woman’s ultimate dream: Vin Diesel…as a nanny. Your eyes deceive you not. In a move to broadcast his versatility, the hunk of action Hollywood turns to taming the kids, while being a Navy S.E.A.L. agent kicking some serious butt, of course. Now there’s a double bonus!

While the idea might be a dream, the movie is a critic’s worst nightmare. I can’t quite place my finger on who messed up where, but I can testify to the film lacking in whatever has made previous films of the genre (like KINDERGARTEN COP or DADDY DAY CARE) so much better.

Once again we have a tough guy assigned to look after a hoard of unruly kids, whose mother is off on an assignment of her own and whose dad has been assassinated. The drill is that Diesel’s character gets them into ship-shape mode by using his Navy skills. And his kind heart, of course, which melts from an ice cube to a puddle of water by the end of the movie!

Some scenes in THE PACIFIER border on plain boring. Several have a hint of something promising, but never deliver. A few manage to entertain. Even fewer elicit laughs. And in the centre of it all, buried in the misfortune of an achingly average script, is Vin Diesel changing diapers – an officer who turns back to action to liven things up before we nod off altogether. My verdict: this Pacifier is just too pacifying to impress an adult intellect, and isn’t slapstick enough to send us into a senseless laughing fit.

Kids, in contrast, will love it (and should love you for sitting through it with them), because the chances that they’ll relate to any of the five troubled children in the flick are pretty good. The jokes and situations are those that your children are sure to find funny – there is little of the sharp-witted stuff that only adults can grasp. This is a perfect movie to drop your kids off to while you go shopping.

Thankfully, THE PACIFIER has its moments of glory (a small number of scenes are priceless) and you won’t be off any worse having seen it, but overall, this is a movie that lacks the imagination needed to make it more than the inconsistent and mediocre film that it is.

Judging from its current US box-office success, this is clearly one of those phenomena that inspire audiences to ditch the value of critical acclaim and flock to the big-screens, ideal as a family outing since it is, essentially, light-hearted viewing. Remember: if you don’t go in with any expectations, then you can’t be disappointed. As for the little ones, let Vin Diesel babysit for you!

3 out of 6 stars