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Laramie Movie Scope:
The Pacifier

Vin Diesel adds muscle to Disney film

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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June 1, 2005 -- Hunky actor Vin Diesel (“XXX”) is not the first actor you think of as the star of a Disney family comedy. He is better known for playing hard-boiled tough guys in big action films, but he does a surprisingly good job as a tough guy turned baby sitter in “The Pacifier.”

Diesel plays Shane Wolfe, a Navy SEAL who is recruited to protect the family of a scientist who has hidden a deadly secret computer disc somewhere in the family's house. Wolfe's mission is to find the disc and protect the family from harm, but not to let the family know they it is in danger from spies. Wolfe tries to impose strict military-style discipline in the house, but the children naturally rebel.

Wolfe has no experience dealing with children, so he has the usual type of difficulties coping with their antics. The children cover a variety of ages from infant to teenager. Wolfe's “can do” attitude and his military discipline get him through the various crises. Gradually, he begins to like the children and they like him. He becomes a father-figure for them. Of course there are some fight scenes as Wolfe and others fight off the bad guys, but this is primarily a family comedy, not an action film. The primary focus is not the spy story or the action scenes, but the interactions between Wolfe and the kids he is trying to help. The story also packs a surprisingly powerful dramatic punch as Wolfe begins to realize there is a whole side of his personality and his life that has been sadly neglected. This new aspect of his life is tremendously rewarding and he finds he wants to explore it further.

Vin Diesel dives into this role with enthusiasm. He is surprisingly effective as a straight man in a comic role. He is also immensely likeable, and he shows some vulnerability. Also good is Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”) as a wacky wrestling coach, Lauren Graham (“Bad Santa”) as a school principal. The children are also effective. The story is not very believable, but it works well enough for this genre. It is just funny enough to recommend and it has a lot of heart. This film rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in video and/or DVD format, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2005 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)