Film: The Pacifier

A Navy Seal is sent to babysit five obnoxious kids while their mother goes to Switzerland. What could possibly go wrong?

Vin Diesel stars in his first (and to date, only) family comedy. After a rescue mission to save a government scientist ends with the scientist dead and Navy Seal Shane Wolfe (Diesel) in the hospital, Shane is sent to protect the scientist's family while their mother Julie (Faith Ford) and Shane's superior Capn Bill Fawcett (Chris Potter) goes to Zurich, Switzerland, to retrieve a deposit box her husband had left there. Initially, the five kids, Alpha Bitch wannabe Zoe (Brittany Snow), rebel without a cause Seth (Max Theriot), Girl Firefly Scout Lulu (Morgan York), toddler Peter, and baby Tyler, cannot stand their new guardian and do everything they can think off to get him out. In response, Shane treats the family to some military style discipline.

They get word that their mother cannot get the box until she can supply the correct password, so she ends up staying for a lot longer. As time goes on, Shane finds himself warming up to the kids, and the feelings are eventually reciprocated. In the end, Shane becomes a surrogate father to the kids, and, with their help, he saves their father's research from falling into enemy hands.

Though not critically acclaimed, receiving a 21% on Rotten Tomatoes, it performed exceptionally well at the box office, pulling in more than $115 million, more than twice its production cost. It's a reasonable, if somewhat derivative, family comedy. Most of the humor comes from Diesel performing the same tough guy he normally plays but applying it to domestic issues.

This film provides examples of:

  • Action Hero Babysitter: Vin Diesel plays a Navy SEAL tasked with babysitting.
  • Amazon Brigade: Lulu's Firefly troop becomes this, due to having Shane as a den mother.
  • Badass: Shane. Well, he's Vin Diesel, so this is expected.
  • Bald of Awesome: Shane.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens to the kids, before they quickly and silently Slip The Ropes.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Peter Panda dance. It's the means for surviving GHOST's very large array of traps.
    • Chekhov's Gunman: Principal/PO3 Claire Fletcher, Garry the duck, and the neighbors.
    • Chekhov's Skill: Zoe's parallel parking.
      • And Tyler crying when Lulu crosses her eyes.
  • The Comically Serious: Shane puts his SEAL training into every aspect of the family.
  • Cover Innocent Eyes and Ears: Zoe covers Tyler's eyes when Murney comes out in a nasty looking wrestling outfit.
    • Brad Garrett himself feels very embarrassed about being forced to wear that nasty wrestling outfit as a interview reveals. The first 30 seconds of the interview keeps showing montages of him in the wrestling outfit doing silly poses until Brad begs while blocking the camera "Please! This has gotta stop! Enough! Enough!"
  • Cultured Warrior: When Shane finds out Seth is sneaking out to rehearsals for The Sound of Music, he is impressed, even taking over as director when the first one quits. He even remarks that The Sound of Music is his favorite musical cause "A nun giving up the habit for a military guy" can't be all bad.
  • Dean Bitterman: Principal Claire Fletcher is a Reasonable Authority Figure. Vice Principal Dwayne Murney, on the other hand, is an egotistical Jerkass who clearly has it out for the Plummers (especially Seth.)
  • Death Course: One of the more ludicrous examples.
  • Dynamic Entry: Shane kicks Seths door down (worried about bad guys) not knowing Seth was in the bathroom across the hall.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: It turns out that Howard somehow managed to outfit his house with a high-tech underground safe (complete with Death Course) without his family ever realizing.
  • Fatal Family Photo: Howard Plummer shows Shane a photo of his family just before getting killed by Serbian rebels.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: In the Time-Compression Montage, one of the diaper changing scenes shows Tyler's genitals briefly.
    • It should be noted that infants get a pass on such issues as long as it's not focused on.
  • Groin Attack: Garry the duck bites a terrorist there.
    Earlier, Lulu kicks the Male Ninja Mr. Chun in the crotch.
  • I Know Karate: After being harassed by a rival troop of boys, Shane teaches the Fireflies to defend themselves. The next time the boys try something, the girls give them a beatdown that ends with them tied to each other, bound and gagged.
  • Improbable Parking Skills: Shane and Zoe have them.
  • Instant Awesome, Just Add Ninja: They're secretly the Plummer's neighbors.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Shane. He can be pretty aloof and rather stubborn and impatient with the kids, but he has a good heart and teaches the kids how to handle their problems and encourages them to do what makes them happy in various ways.
  • Lock and Load Montage: Parodied as Shane "suits up" with diapers, baby bottles, etc. as he gets ready to take the kids to school.
    • Also played straight in the opening scene.
  • Meaningful Echo: "You do things my/our way! No highway option!"
  • Mistaken for Subculture: Seth, the older son, is mistaken for a Neo-Nazi when he dyes his hair blond and a swastika was found in his locker. Turns out that he was actually playing Rolf in The Sound of Music.
  • The Mole: The Plummer's neighbors are secretly North Korean spies, and Shane's superior Captain Fawcett plans to sell GHOST to North Korea once it's found.
  • My Favorite Shirt: Shane's shirt gets mustard and bologna on it, prompting this phrase.
    • Also hilarious considering all of his shirts are the same!
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The promotional trailer combines a scene of Shane preparing to drive the family minivan to school, answered by the younger daughter dramatically leaping out to kiss the ground after the van finally comes to a stop. The latter scene is actually in response to the older daughter's first driving lesson with the van, rather than Shane's Badass Driver skills.
  • Parental Abandonment: Shane was raised by his father, who sent him off to military school so that he could keep being a soldier. He was then killed in action.
  • Prejudiced For Pecs: Lulu is impressed by Shane's "boobs"
  • Sadist Teacher
  • Slipped the Ropes: Two of the kids do this, silently and impressively.
  • Shout-Out: The kids' mother's name Julie Plummer is an explicit reference to The Sound of Music stars Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.
    • There are many references to The Sound Of Music: All the way up the comparing the movie to the musical itself.
  • Suck E. Cheese's: Woody Woodchuck's.
    Shane: And they say war is hell.
  • The Cloud Cuckoolander Was Right: The trick to getting past the memory grid was the hare dance of all things.
  • Time-Compression Montage: Shows Shane warming up to the family, Zoe's driving skills improving, Seth practicing for the play, Lulu and her scouts learning martial arts, and Shane learning how to change a diaper.
  • Title Drop: Shane is describing his special ops wrestling grapples with one in particular (and his personal favorite) called "the Pacifier." Just so you know, it involves putting his own fist in his mouth.
  • Token Romance: Shane and Claire.
  • To the Pain: Shane describes the exact grapples he pulls on the wrestling coach as he is doing them.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Shown during the Wild Teen Party below. Zoe is yelling at her boyfriend for inviting a whole bunch of people that she didn't know to her house for a party. After Shane gets back and makes them clean up the mess they made (which includes baloney plastered to the ceiling with mustard), she's upset...because her boyfriend will never speak to her again. Shane, being a SEAL, has the sense to call her out on that.
  • Wild Teen Party: While Shane is out with the scouts, Zoe throws a party. When he gets back, he has all the teens clean up their mess.