tek's rating: ½

The Pacifier (PG)
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This came out in 2005, but I didn't see it until 2024. It's something I never had much interest in seeing, so I didn't even put it on any of my "want to see" pages. But I always had at least a kernel of an interest in it, because Brittany Snow is in it, and I was a fan of hers from American Dreams. And since it was available on Disney+, I finally decided I might as well watch it. It took awhile for me to get into it at all, and even when I did, I didn't think it was great. In fact it would be a bit of a stretch to call it "good", either. But I definitely didn't think it was bad. Even if most critics did. Anyway, I wasn't quite sure whether I would put my review under "family" or "comedy", but I eventually chose the former. (And later added it to "action comedy", though there's a lot more comedy than action.)

Vin Diesel plays a Navy SEAL named Lt. Shane Wolfe, who at the start of the movie leads a team that's trying to rescue a man named Howard Plummer (Tate Donovan), who had created a top-secret thingamajig called "GHOST", and had been captured by Serbians. They do manage to rescue him, but then Shane is shot by someone who doesn't appear on camera, and apparently Howard is also killed. The movie then flashes forward to Shane getting out of the hospital, and his commanding officer, Captain Bill Fawcett, assigning him to protect Howard's family. He's also supposed to search their home for GHOST. Meanwhile, Howard's widow, Julie (Faith Ford, from Murphy Brown), goes with Fawcett to Zurich, to obtain Howard's safety deposit box.

Julie's kids include teenagers Zoe (Snow) and Seth (Max Thieriot), 10-year-old Lulu, toddler Peter, and a baby named Tyler. The baby has a nanny named Helga (Carol Kane), but she soon gets fed up with the kids and quits, leaving Shane to take care of all of them by himself. Zoe and Seth are both rebellious, but Lulu takes a bit of a liking to Shane. He also has to watch them when they go to school, where he becomes friendly with the principal, Claire Fletcher (Lauren Graham), who used to be in the Navy herself. And the vice principal/wrestling coach, Dwayne Murney (Brad Garrett), well, he's just sort of annoying and weird. He doesn't seem to like Shane, but it's impossible to say why. He just seems to feel competitive against him, for some reason. (I think he has superiority and inferiority complexes at the same time.) Anyway, I don't want to give away too many details about what goes on with Shane and the kids. In a general way, it's fairly predictable, with the kids going from being against him to being on his side and learning some discipline, among other things. But some of the specifics I thought were kind of interesting, especially with Seth. So the movie's not entirely formulaic, I guess. And of course there's a happy ending, after the family endures some dangers that I don't want to spoil.

And I guess there's nothing more to say, except that in the end I didn't feel like the movie was a waste of my time, though I could absolutely understand some people disliking it, and other people liking it more than I did.

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