The Pacifier

Rated PG 2005

Here's a bizarre hodgepodge of influences: Kindergarten Cop meets Sound of Music, filtered through the Hulk Hogan movie Mr. Nanny. The formula, by now so overused it's actually formless, is pure Disney: At the beginning, a scientist is rescued by Navy S.E.A.L. Shane Wolfe (Vin Diesel), then promptly executed off screen; he's Bambi's mother, cannon fodder whose death sets the plot in motion. But the plot is merely a math equation: Five kids + one tough bastard = group hug before closing credits. There are variables, of course -- the casting of poor Carol Kane as a Slavic nanny, and Brad Garrett as the mean-spirited vice principal -- but the answer is always the same. The Pacifier will perhaps be remembered as the first family comedy in which the North Koreans show up as the bad guys. Also, for the kids, there are several uses of the word "hell," the discovery of a swastika armband in a high school locker, and a scene in which an underage driver leads cops on a high-speed chase through a residential neighborhood.

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