The critically maligned box office hit The Pacifier is a testimonial to the fact that critics and audiences, in particular kid audiences, often want different things.

Critics, who care about coherent plots, thought-provoking themes and nuanced performances, didn’t find much to love here.

But kids, who helped propel this to more than $100 million at the box office, laughed as Vin Diesel played against type as a battle-ready Navy S.E.A.L. who softens up after taking on the biggest challenge of his career: protecting five kids, ranging from one in diapers to a rebellious young teen.

The kids are on their own after bad guys kill their scientist dad for his secret invention and their mother leaves temporarily to help the government find the secret invention the bad guys didn’t find. In just a few weeks, the tough guy helps the oldest teen learn to drive, directs her brother’s production of "The Sound of Music," teaches the middle girl’s Firefly troop how to stand up to a bullying boy troop and learns to sing and dance to the toddler’s favorite silly song. And he manages to change the baby’s diaper without passing out.

Arnold Schwarzenegger blazed the way for this sort of tough-guy-changed-by-kids role in 1990’s Kindergarten Cop. Diesel is not the most expressive of actors, and some of the plot turns are wincingly bad. Do we really want to see the Firefly girls beating up the boys or Brad Garrett as a psychotic, fight-happy vice principal?

But the formula still works. And there are enough tender moments, in particular "The Sound of Music" segments and Diesel doing his song and dance, that help save this mission. As for the extras, they’re just behind-the-scenes looks showing Diesel and Garrett as nice guys. The kids will prefer the onscreen diaper jokes.

DVD Grade: B-

The Pacifier is currently available.