THE PACIFIER isn’t bad—as a title. As a light-action-comedy it’s yet another of those that puts an actor known for tough guy hunk stuff (in this case Vin Diesel) into a warm & fuzzy, heal-the-kids situation. Reviews didn’t so much pacify the enterprise as crucify it for its clumsy obviousness. Vin followers showed up, however, giving the 95-minute (merciful length at least) foolishness their blessing with a gross in 2005 of $198,637,000, taking heat off the $56,000,000 rollout.
Navy SEAL extraordinaire ‘Shane Wolfe’ (Diesel) is given a dual assignment. While searching for top-secret contents from a security box in the home of a murdered government operative, he must also watch over the dead man’s five children during his widow’s absence. If you’ve never seen a movie, maybe the ensuing hi-jinks with the brats will be a surprise, directed in paint-the-numbers fashion by Adam Shankman. Harmless silliness is a visit to Dullsville unless you’re desperate (or a hardcore Vin fiend). Kids will like it, so what the heck. It was the 18th most popular picture of 2005.
Less-than-engaging supporting cast: Lauren Graham, Faith Ford, Brittany Snow, Max Thierot, Carol Kane, Brad Garrett, Morgan York, Chris Potter, Dennis Akiyama, Scott Thompson.