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Vin Diesel as Shane Wolfe
Lauren Graham as Principal Claire Fletcher
Faith Ford as Julie Plummer
Brittany Snow as Zoe Plummer
Max Thieriot as Seth Plummer
Chris Potter as Capt. Bill Fawcett
Carol Kane as Helga
Brad Garrett as Vice Principal Murney
Morgan York as Lulu Plummer
Keegan Hoover as Peter Plummer
Logan Hoover as Peter Plummer
Bo Vink as Baby Tyler
Luke Vink as Baby Tyler
Tate Donovan as Howard Plummer
Scott Thompson as Director
Vin Diesel is slowly following in the footsteps of Arnold Schwarzenegger - after a series of reasonably successful action movies throw in a family movie to show that you have greater range as an actor. Vin plays Shane Wolfe, a Navy SEAL put in charge of protecting the children of an important, and recently murdered, scientist. The kids don't think Shane is a good replacement for their father and rebel against him while their mother is away.
The plot is fairly straightforward and predictable, but there are some enjoyable unexpected moments along the way to the inevitable conclusion. The humor is mostly physical and aside from the compulsory baby diaper jokes it remains clean and without any foul language. The violence is of the Power Ranger school, where things explode and martial arts fights break out, but no one really seems to get hurt. The majority of the film is believable, except for an excessively over the top plot device at the end.
Supporting Vin is a cast of journeyman adult actors that highlight his character without dominating the scenes they are in. However, the majority of the interaction is between Vin and the children and that is the highlight of the movie. The child actors are very capable and give lively performances to Vin's straight man role.
Technically the movie is acceptable. Some of the effects looked dated but the action centers around the physical strength of Vin Diesel and he carries his load well. The score is mostly in the background and the cinematography is crisp if not inspiring.
Who should see this movie? Vin Diesel fans. The Pacifier presents a nicer side to Vin than is normally shown and it is a pleasant change, but if you are a fan of the action in Diesel's movies you could be disappointed. People with children in the 8 - 14 age range should also enjoy taking the family out to a movie that offers something to the adults while being aimed at the kids. If you are looking for deep thoughts, you need to look further. The comedy is more of the chuckle variety and the action is toned down for younger audiences. Overall The Pacifier is a safe movie, it has nothing new, nothing unique, and nothing controversial. Sometimes that is just what parents are looking for, but for the majority that has already left the nest there is not much to offer.