Review by Gordon Justesen
Vin Diesel, Lauren Graham, Faith Ford, Brittany Snow, Max Theiriot, Carol Kane,
Director: Adam Shankman
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Surround
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Features: See Review
Length: 96 Minutes
Release Date: June 28, 2005
they say war is hell.”
After you see a
particular actor do a certain string of movies pertaining to one genre, it’s
always interesting to see them branch out to try something different. In this
case, we have hulky action hero Vin Diesel, star of The Fast and the Furious and The
Chronicles of Riddick. Diesel has garnered an action hero persona for the
last several years, and now he is shifting gears to find a more family-friendly
audience in The Pacifier.
With this movie,
Diesel is clearly taking the same route Arnold Schwarzenegger took when he made
shifts to kinder, gentler comedies such as Twins
and Kindergarten Cop. And although
those films were no classics by any means, The
Pacifier is as least successful. It’s as formulaic as movies get, but I do
give Diesel credit for giving it his all.
Diesel plays Shane
Wolfe, an expert Navy SEAL who is used to conducting the most high tech forms of
rescue operations and underwater exercises. In the aftermath of a botched rescue
mission of science professor, Wolfe is handed a new assignment, and one unlike
anything he’s had to do before. He now must protect the family of the recently
deceased science professor.
While the mother of
the family, Julie Plummer (Faith Ford), must go overseas to Switzerland to
obtain the contents of her late husband’s safe deposit box, Wolfe must
inevitably play babysitter to the five youngsters in the family. From this point
on, I pretty much don’t have to reveal anything else, since the average
moviegoer can predict the rest of it, since this plot has been played out since
the dawning of the live action Disney movie.
tough-fibered man of military action, Wolfe has never had time for anything
relating to kids. Needless to say, he doesn’t like them too much. He doesn’t
even care to try to learn their names, as he labels them Red 1, Red 2, and all
the way down to Red Baby. But soon enough, his lifelong method of never quitting
helps motivate the kids to do better in school, defend themselves against
Diesel, who I’ve enjoyed seeing in action movies, in full game mode for the
fish-out-of-water plot scenario is enjoyable. The movie even throws in a few
action set pieces, including a fun scene where Wolfe battles two masked ninjas
in the family house, using weapons such as a broom and tennis racquet as his
only line of defense. A later scene where Wolfe takes on the uptight vice
principal/wrestling coach (Brad Garrett) is also fun to watch.
But in the end, The
Pacifier is a been-there-seen-that action comedy whose target audience is
pretty much anyone under the age of ten. For others, you’ll most likely be
bored by most of the movie, especially if you’re looking for something
strikingly original. There’s a difference between a formula movie and one that
practically spells the formula out on the screen in scene after scene, and The
Pacifier falls under the latter category.
A superb anamorphic
offering from Disney (Full Screen available separately). The image quality is
thoroughly clear and crisp, with tremendous level of color to boot. The flesh
tones are dynamic and accurate as can be. A pleasant looking presentation.
This action comedy
gets a sharp boost from the solid 5.1 mix provided. Everything from music to
dialogue delivery to the family friendly action sequences sound nothing short of
explosive and terrific. Several set pieces, such as a gymnasium and a
children’s restaurant, have some of the audio goods in tact, as well.
While not the fully
loaded type of disc we’ve come to enjoy from Disney, this release still has
some good bonuses to go around. There’s a director’s commentary from Adam
Shankman, deleted scenes, a blooper reel, On the set featurettes with Vin Diesel
and Brad Garrett, TV commercials and bonus previews, including trailers for the
upcoming Disney features, Chicken Little
and The Chronicles of Narnia.