The Pacifier

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

When I was watching “The Pacifier”, I had to keep kicking myself for two reasons: First, to stay awake and second, to remind myself that this movie was aimed at kids. I’m not one anymore. Naturally, the thought of taking an action star like Vin Diesel and putting him in charge of a group of kids is the joke, and one that wears pretty thin very early on in the movie. We’re used to seeing him in movies like “The Fast and the Furious” and “xXx”, so what would be funnier than seeing him mess around with a duck and change a diaper? Right…I think the movie that they wanted to make was more along the lines of “Kindergarten Cop” with Gov. Arnold, the same premise but a much better movie. Still, the movie did have a few bright points and Diesel did the best he could with the same joke falling flat time and again. All this said, “The Pacifier” did manage to keep my attention for the rather short running time and I did have to keep telling myself that this was a Disney film.

The plot is relatively simple and formulaic, but for those who are interested in watching the movie, I’ve done the hard work for you. Diesel plays Lt. Shane Wolf, a special ops/Navy Seal type who always gets the job done and never loses a man. His uniforms have all the Velcro gadgets and look cool, so it’s with utter disbelief when he finds out that he’ll be placed in charge of a family of children for the next few weeks. You see, an American scientist has been kidnapped and the powers that be think that the plans for other gadgets might be in his house. His wife (Faith Ford) is evacuated leaving Wolfe to care for the four children; all of them are spoiled brats of course. We see him collar them, which they resent, and only when he starts to see them as people instead of an assignment do they grow to like each other. I mean do we really see the eldest as a Nazi or could he just be in a production of “The Sound of Music”? As mentioned before, this is all very predictable but with enough comic relief thrown in that it should provide entertainment for the intended ages. “The Pacifier” is silly, but take it with a grain of salt and you’ll get through it (or a few glasses of wine, which is how I got through it).

Video: How does it look?

The 2.35:1 anamorphic image is just about what we’ve come to expect from Disney. There isn’t a lot to complain about here as the images are clean and very vivid. I found a couple of the outdoor scenes to be a bit on the bright side, but nothing to get in a fuss about. Details are sharp and there was no sign of artifacting, dust on the print or anything else that might detract from the superior video quality. “The Pacifier” looks very good in the video department.

Audio: How does it sound?

The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is actually surprisingly robust at times, most notably in the opening scenes when Wolfe is still a Navy SEAL. Dialogue is very clean and constant and the surrounds are used quite often, bringing a new level of depth to what I thought would be a pretty bland track. There are the usual sound effects (to denote physical humor), although most of the action takes place in the front stage. This is a good-sounding track.

Supplements: What are the extras?

Surprisingly, this “kids” movie contains an audio commentary track – which is rather odd. Still, Director Shankman and his writers deliver a fairly good track, containing a lot of laughs and I’d have to say that I enjoyed the track better than the movie. Five deleted scenes are shown and why they didn’t make the final cut, I’ll never know. They’re presented in widescreen and the quality is pretty consistent throughout. There are some outtakes as well as two very short featurettes: “Brad Garrett: Unpacified” in which we see the Vice-Principal/Wrestler do his thing as well as “On the Set with Mr. Diesel: Action Hero/Nice Guy” as he tells us about the movie and why he wanted to do it, etc. Lastly there are some “Special Ops TV Commercials” and I’ll leave it at that.

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