Movie Title: The Pacifier
Director: Adam Shankman
Date Released: March 5th, 2005
Date Seen: many, many times.
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
This movie is great family fun. It’s a cute movie, hilarious, and has Vin Diesel way outside of his comfort zone. He does a great job in this comedy role. Part of it works so well because you see his stuck up action movie side, that you know and are familiar with, and see it slowly conform to taking care of these kids. There’s a great plot for the adults to watch and get into, with enough laughs to keep kids interested as well.
I’ll admit, as a 22 year old girl, I love this movie and watch it every time it’s on tv. I just love it.
Part 2 – In -Depth Spoiler Ridden Review/Synopsis
The movie opens with Shane Wolfe (Vin Diesel) on a recon mission to rescue a professor. The scene shows Shane rescuing the man and giving him a second to call his family, while he gets the pilot ready to go. He checks on the pilot – and sees he has died. Then we see Shane yell at the professor, realizing they are ambushed, and we hear a gun shot. The screen goes dark and we flash to 2 months later. Shane is out of rehab from his injuries. We learn that the professor was killed in the ambush and Shane feels responsible. Captain Bill Fawcett (Chris Potter) tells Shane that he knows that he can trust him – and thus has one more mission for him. The professor was working on a secret project for the government called “Ghost” and that’s what he was killed for. They discovered he had a safety deposit box, and they think that the project might be there. So he is going with the professors wife, Julie Plummer (Faith Ford), to get it. While they’re gone, he needs Shane to look out for the kids.
Shane shows up to the house and is a new type of war zone. Toys everywhere in the yard, a messy house, etc. He is introduced to the kids. Zoe (Brittany Snow), a 16 year old typical teenage girl, Seth (Max Thieriot), a typical 14 year old teenage boy, Lulu (Morgan York), a about 11 year old little girl, Peter a 3ish year old, and a baby, Tyler. There is also the nanny, Helga (Carol Kane).
Julie and the captain go to Switzerland, saying they’ll only be gone for 48 hours. At the bank however, there is a bit of a problem. There is a required password to open the box and they don’t know it. So the trip, of course, ends up being MUCH longer than just 48 hours.
So for a good part of the movie, there is a lot of kids vs. Shane. I don’t remember the exact order, so excuse it if it’s mildly wrong.
Zoe has her boyfriend try to sneak in – and Shane catches him. Obviously. He had set up booby traps around the house and so tons of sirens and flashing lights go off. The neighbors next door, the Chungs, ask if he can turn that off but good job keeping the kids in line. Shane makes the boyfriend do 20 pushups and embarrasses Zoe and so she is pissed.
Seth gets pissed when he goes upstairs, while Shane gives them all monitoring bracelets – that have an emergency button. Shane goes upstairs to get him, and finds his door locked. So Shane breaks it down. Seth comes out of the bathroom extremely pissed that he kicked his door down and says how much he hates him. Shane says he’ll fix it, and puts the monitoring bracelet on Seth.
The nanny Helga, is hilarious. She ends up deciding to leave the family after Zoe and Seth, trying to get rid of Shane, pour oil all over the stairs. Instead of him falling, she does. Shane says he can’t do it without her. She leaves though, leaving poor Shane to change diapers and have to take care of baby Tyler. This is also when the mom calls telling him that she’s going to be gone a few more days.
The next day is a school day – and they have to get there on time or else Zoe and Seth will get suspended. They get there in time, and we meet the douchey vice principal and wrestling coach, Murney (Brad Garrett). He clearly cannot stand Seth and is a super bully. He likes to pick on Seth and is even kind of picking on Shane. The actual principal comes in, and introduces herself, Claire Fletcher (Lauren Graham). The kids go to class and she explains to Shane that she knows all about the situation. She also says that she used to be in the military so they have something in common and are kind of flirting. Shane asks if she minds if he hangs out at the school to keep an eye on things.
During the day, Shane watches Zoe cheerleading and being all popular and then sees Seth being pushed around by the members of the wrestling team. And Murney isn’t really stopping it. Shane stops it and talks to Murney who says that if Shane ever wants to try and fight him – to bring it on. Shane just keeps watching the rest of the day, and is hanging with the babies while also flirting with Claire. Then all of a sudden he gets his emergency bracelet beckon going off – he runs off, leaving the kids with Claire and chases it down – it ends up being in a sewer – and yes, Shane jumps in after it. Zoe had gotten hers off and thrown it down a toiler. So Shane comes home covered in nastyness. It’s pretty hilarious. Claire had gotten the kids home and leaves.
Shane takes a shower and comes out of it to find the “Fireflies” all there. They are like a girl-scout troop. Lulu says that they have to go sell cookies and Shane agrees to take them. He goes shopping at the store while they sell their cookies. While he is inside, he notices on the camera some boyscout type boys coming up and talking to the girls. They push the girls around saying that it is “their territory” and the girls shouldn’t be selling their nasty cookies on it. They run away, and when Shane comes out he finds the boys destroying the cookies. The girls say they are scared of the boys and so Shane tries to make them feel better and takes them to a Chuckie Cheese type of place. After they leave, Shane realizes he forgot Tyler – and he heads back and finds him still there, in the ball pit. When he pulls him out of the ball pit he is diaper less. So Shane (YES, remember, Vin Diesel) jumps in a ball pit and digs for a diaper. Fabulous. I loved watching him in this scene. It was a whole different side of him and awesome.
When they do get home, they find out that Zoe and her boyfriend have thrown a party. Zoe is actually overwhelmed and doesn’t know who the majority of the people are and is yelling at her boyfriend. Shane comes in and flips out. He screams at all the kids that they are going to clean the house to pristine condition, and then they all try to get away. He stops them, and even gets the boyfriend. They all clean the house nicely. That night, Zoe and Seth yell about how much they hate Shane and wish he was gone…. this happens right as two masked people swing in through the window to attack them. Shane sends the kids into a room and fights them off as the kids hide. Shane ends up beating the attackers, but doesn’t find out who they are. The kids, now terrified realize that they need Shane and actually do like him. Shane explains the rest of the situation to them – about Ghost and how they are looking for it, even though they don’t know what it is, and how they are in a bit of trouble. This was the catalyst the kids needed to change.
After witnessing a horrible drivers ed lesson with Zoe, she crashes their car. They are called to the principal’s office – but not to talk about her, instead to talk about Seth. He has dyed his hair blonde and Murney found a swastika arm band in his locker. Claire says this is serious and wonders if Shane can actually get to the kids to talk to him and figure out what is going on with them.
At home, Shane tries to figure out what is up with Seth. He goes up to his room an notices that he is gone. Shane follows him and sees him hanging out with some other boys dressed as Nazis. He follows Seth in, and discovers Seth is play Rolfe. We see a cute scene of them playing “I am 16 going on 17″…. the director is annoyed at all of them and how little progress is being made in the show. He quits on the spot. Shane reveals himself from the corner, and knows that Seth really wants to do this so he decides to be the new director.
That night, the toddler won’t go to sleep so Seth tells Shane that he has to do the panda dance – the dance that their dad made up. He does it and it’s hilarious. The next morning, as the kids load into the car, he hands Zoe the keys to the car. The drive is horrific… when they finally get to school, Lulu jumps out and says ‘LAND!!!’ It’s hilarious. At school, there is more flirting between Claire and Blake. Then Murney brings up Seth saying he’s “had it” with Seth. He found Seth dancing under the bleachers. Seth tells him he doesn’t want to wrestle anymore and is doing the sound of music. Murney makes fun of him for a while, but Seth holds his own quite well. Shane brings up the fact that Murney earlier wanted to wrestle with him (Shane). So they decide to have a wrestling match after school. Word spreads around the school that Murney is going to get his ass kicked. Murney shows up in a horrible wrestling outfit and looks disgusting. Shane clearly dominates him. But he uses the experience as a training exercise for all the kids at the school. And Shane makes a nice fool of Murney in a satisfying and non-douchey way.
Fun music comes on, “The Anthem” by Good Charolette, and we see scenes of training for all the kids. The fireflies doing combat training, Zoe learning to drive, the play practice with Seth, diaper changes with the baby, and eventually the peter panda song which is now awesome and a whole theatrical event. At the end of the Peter Panda dance, Peter calls Shane “dad”….. awkward….. He lets it slide since Peter is too young to really know what is going on.
The next day, the Fireflies are again tormented by the boys. This time the girls are ready and kick the little boys asses. It’s funny because they’re all in their little boy/girl scout uniforms, and end up tying them up and shoving cookies in their mouth. Fabulous. Then in the car ride home, they are now singing different songs rather than the silly normal girlscouty type songs.
Back in Switzerland, Julie finally figures out the password – “My Angel” inscribed on the inside of her ring. They open it up, and don’t find ghost, but find a key looking thing.
That night at the house, Zoe is upset but won’t tell Shane what is wrong. She does say it doesn’t have to do with her now ex-boyfriend though. So Shane realizes it’s probably about her dad. He tells a story about how his mom died young, and his dad sent him off to military school. Then he got a letter saying his dad was dead. He tells Zoe that keeping the feeling insides was worse than actually talking about it. So Zoe starts talking about how much she misses him. The family then gets a phone call saying that their Mom is going to be home the next day. The kids are excited but it’s obvious Shane is slightly disappointed as he doesn’t want to leave the kids.
He goes downstairs to the garage to work on the door from Seth’s room. While he’s there, Gary gets his duck foot caught in a grate in the floor. Shane investigates it and then calls the Captain to tell him that he thinks he’s found Ghost – but it needs a key (oh snap just like the one they found). We can see someone from the bushes listening to this conversation. Shane then tells the kids that once they give this Ghost thing to his superiors, no one else will be bothering the family. The kids are upset because they realize that means that Shane will be leaving them.
Julie pulls up and is telling the captain that she expects the house to be trashed. She opens the door to find Sound of Music songs playing and a brochure for the show sitting on the counter, and the house SPOTLESS. She walks in the living room and sees the family standing there super cute all adorable. Hugs and kisses ensue. While that happens, Shane goes out back with the Captain. He is super proud of Shane and says he’s going to give him any future assignment he wants. Shane says he’ll “have to think about it” and that he’s really enjoyed the family. About that time, the Chungs from next door appear and hold them at gunpoint. Shane tries to take them down and is in a position of power – but the Captain knocks him out. He’s been working with the Chungs, from North Korea for months. They tie up the kids, leaving the husband with the kids and the captain takes the wife down to the chamber under the garage. When they go in, they insert the key, and Mrs. Chung starts walking across. She ends up getting blasted in the face (barely) by some fire.
Back in the house, the kids, using their new skills learned by Shane, manage to overtake Mr. Chung. It’s a hilarious scene that involves juice, fire extinguishers, etc. It’s pretty awesome. They go downstairs and find Shane still knocked out in the driveway. They wake him up by pouring milk on his face. He sends them to go get help while he goes to rescue the mom. The kids pile in the car and go on a joy ride – because Mr. Chung is now chasing them. Of course, this is the “one time” that Zoe doesn’t have her cell phone, as pointed out by Seth. Mr. Chung ends up crashing but by now Zoe has gotten the attention of the cops. She decides to lead them back to the house – and part of that drive goes right by the school. Claire starts heading to the house.
Down in the garage, the Captain is about to force Julie to go through the bobby trapped floor. Shane thinks the code is the kids names… but it’s not, and he ends up getting shocked. Then he looks around, and realizes that the “Peter Panda dance” is the clue to getting across the floor. It’s pretty cool watching him maneuver spikes, fire, gas, falling floors, etc. while singing the song. So he ends up getting across the room. While the Captain and Mrs. Chung debate whose going to open the vault first, Shane takes the moment of distraction to try and overcome them both. Mrs. Chung gets knocked out and Shane is in a bad position, and the captain says “Any last words?” Shane says “Say goodnight, Peter Panda” and the safe opens and knocks the Captain in the back of the head. Inside the safe, Julie and Shane find what is actually ghost.
Outside the house, as family arrives with the cops chasing them, and Julie and Shane coming out from the garage. Mr. Chung arrives with a big gun. He is trying to get Ghost, and we see Claire come up behind him. She takes a clue from Shane and hides in the bushes. As Shane sets Ghost on the ground, Shane yells “Gary now!” and the duck bites Mr. Chung in the crotch and Claire jumps out of the bushes and holds him down while Shane gains control.
As the police start cleaning stuff up, there is more flirting between Shane and Claire and they’re about to kiss – until Lulu comes and cock blocks him. But it’s for good reasons. She gives him a picture of the family so that he will always remember them. She asks if they’ll ever see him again and he says “What do you mean?! We still have one more mission!” And then it flashes to the final presentation of “Sound of Music”….. we see “I am 16 going on 17” with Seth, and then we see the final scene. Claire is talking to Shane saying she’s glad that Shane is taking over the wrestling team now that Murney has found his true calling – and it flashes to him, in the play, as a nun. Hilarious.
Vin Diesel is great in this role and I respect him more as an actor for having done this. It does play off of his action background – but in a great way and even kind of makes fun of it. Diesel never seems to be forcing the emotions, funny or emotional, and it works well. The movie is cute and funny and for everyone.