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The Vin Diesel Comedy Flop Getting A Second Chance On HBO Max

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Vin Diesel, believe it or not, wasn't born with either the name Vin or the name Diesel. Rather, it's a professional moniker for a man whose birth certificate reads Mark Sinclair. The name is, of course, befitting of an actor whose most prominent credits are comprised of entries in action franchises. From The Fast and the Furious to The Chronicles of Riddick, Diesel is inseparable from the very sorts of action movies his stage name evokes.

That said, the real-life Diesel isn't necessarily as tough or hardened as the lion's share of his film appearances might suggest. For example, Diesel is a big Dungeons & Dragons nerd, to the extent that he has a tattoo in tribute to a character he once role-played in a D&D campaign.

Occasionally, the juxtaposition between his on-screen persona and real-life self is played for laughs. This is arguably a key component of his performance of Groot in the Guardians of the Galaxy films. Groot is as stubborn and hard-willed as he is goofy and fun-loving. This was also integral to a starring role in the comedy The Pacifier, a box office flop that's finding new life on HBO's flagship streaming service HBO Max.

A Navy SEAL out of water

In The Pacifier, Vin Diesel portrays Lieutenant Shane Wolfe, a Navy SEAL. Upon the film's opening, Shane is assigned to and subsequently botches a mission to save a government employee from danger. In order to protect the secret project for which said government agent was killed, Shane is then assigned to look after the family he left behind, which includes five young children. Naturally, Shane soon finds himself invested not just in his mission but in the children's lives, too. It's from that setup that the film gets its title, given the supposed pacifying role of the military and the role a pacifier can play in raising a young child.

The Pacifier was received poorly by critics upon its initial release. It currently holds an aggregate 21-percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes. That said, audiences found more to enjoy about the film than reviewers. Its audience score currently sits at 58 percent, not necessarily indicating acclaim but reflecting a much greater level of appreciation than it received from critics. Because The Pacifier is now available to stream freely for HBO Max subscribers, present-day audiences can decide for themselves how Diesel's comedic performance stacks up against the rest of his action-oriented filmography.