If I had children between 5-12, I'd suggest they see this. It is "Kindergarten Cop," "Uncle Buck," and "Mr. Mom," with a light "Mrs. Doubtfire" thrown in. It is not as good as any of those, but I am not 10 years old. Your young boy or girl will love it.
It is a mix of slapstick, family style humor and situation gags. Nothing in the story will surprise moviegoers, but nothing will offend them either. It is a fun, decent, average 1960s-style Disney film.
Shane Wolfe (Vin Diesel), Navy Seal, is assigned to protect the family of a slain scientist. Their home may have a special device the enemy wants. The mother is out of town trying to open a safe deposit box, and Shane's stay last longer than expected.
Shane, muscle-bound and bald, looks intimidating. He's tough, a "leave no man behind" kind of guy. All man. As a protector/babysitter, he runs aground into all of the expected gags. He changes a diaper with typical disgust, drives the kids to school, and feeds them dried MREs (Meals Ready To Eat). Parenting is new, and he starts learning.
He catches a boyfriend sneaking in, and has run-ins with the wresting coach, played by huge Brad Garrett. Some minor subplots about relating to the children bring a few laughs and "awes."
It isn't really an action movie, not beyond a few "Home Alone" scenes.
Vin Diesel shows he can act here, and occasionally shines in a few sequences. When he finds the code in the "Peter Panda Dance," we see an indication that there's hope for him in a better movie that relies on his personality more than his biceps.
Critically, from an adult perspective, Brad Garrett was not believable as a wrestling coach, and Lauren Graham as the military women-turned-principal did not work. It was as much of a casting problem as it was a writing and directing issue.
Brittany Snow as oldest daughter Zoe Plummer is great. She plays the character honestly, and within her ability. There a Hillary Duff aspect to her, with an edge. Unfortunately, Faith Ford as her mom, Julie Plummer overplayed her. Luckily, we only suffer with her in a few scenes.
Oldest son, Seth Plummer, is likewise overplayed by Max Thieriot, who seems like he was handed the roll for growing up in Hollywood. His conversion from weak trench coat outsider, to thespian acting in "Sound of Music," was more than a stretch.
The nanny, Helga, played by Carol Kane, is given terrible lines. Remembering her in "The Princess Bride," I shuddered as she tried to squeeze out comedy.
The movie is disposable, and will not rank among Disney's best movies. However, it shows that Disney is willing to toss a few dollars into a movie that is clean, with a message that is pro-family, pro-parents, pro-father, and old fashioned fun.