When action stars cross over into comedy, they can usually go two ways. They can go the way of Arnold Schwarzenegger and comes up with a couple of comedy gems such as Twins and Kindergarten Cop. Otherwise, they can go the way of Sylvester Stallone with Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Vin Diesel is possibly one of today's biggest action stars if not the biggest, so it was a surprise when I heard he was doing a Disney movie. The Pacifier is still at cinemas in Britain, so after reading a few fairly negative reviews I didn't hold out much hope for the new film from the director of Bringing Down The House.
Lt. Shane Wolfe is the best Navy Seal, the Americans have. No job is too big or too tough but when he is injured during a botched rescue mission, he returns to active duty by looking after five kids. Not any five kids, these are the children of Professor Plummer, who was assassinated during the mission mentioned above. The Professor's widow has to travel to Europe to collect sensitive information regarding the Professor's latest invention. Shane is a typical macho tough as nails type and has no idea how kids work or live. This obviously is ripe for comedy and we have what is standard in family movies. We have vomiting babies, poo and fart gags, misunderstood teenagers and the quiet sensitive kid being bullied. Into the mix, we get a bullying wrestling coach played in over the top style by veteran voice over actor, Brad Garrett. Garrett steals the entire film from under every one's noses (including Diesel) and puts in a whacky maniacal performance. Also providing comic support is Carol Kane playing an extremely scary looking Eastern European babysitter. Although her role is fairly small she makes an impact in the scenes she is in.
Contrary to what some critics have said, Diesel pulls it off. He does come across a little wooden in the sensitive scenes. However, his character is so likeable you forget all of this. His interaction with the youngest of the children is priceless and I defy anyone not to laugh or smile when he straps on a baby harness and carries the two babies around. Okay the film is extremely derivative, when the box cover art looks like Kindergarten Cop and part of the plot is pure Uncle Buck. Vin Diesel has done well here but maybe action is his forte - but hey if he knocks out a few comedies every now and then, well done Vin.
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