"TOOTH FAIRY" MOVIE REVIEW
Dwayne Johnson, formerly known as The Rock, has successfully rebranded himself from a menacing wrestler to a family film star. His new movie, “Tooth Fairy,” curiously imitates the winning formula used in previous family movies starring Johnson such as “The Game Plan” and “Race to Witch Mountain.”
That time-tested formula involves Johnson in a fish-out-of-water tale starring likeable child actors and the result is a triumphant box-office return. 20th Century Fox, the studio behind “Tooth Fairy,” is banking on Johnson’s likeability even if it means making the star wear a pink tutu.
Johnson stars as Derek Thompson, a minor-leagued ice-hockey player who’s been nicknamed The Tooth Fairy for his penchant for knocking out his opponents’ teeth. Once a major league hockey star, Thompson is now a minor-league toughie as his fans chant “The tooth hurts!” and “You can’t handle the tooth!” Funny right?
Supposedly, Thompson is a good guy at heart (formula alert!) but his experiences teach him to be rude in the rink. When a young autograph-seeker asks Thompson about achieving hockey stardom, he dashes the boy’s hopes.
That night, Thompson awakens with a summons tucked under his pillow that says, “Violation 70136: Dissemination of Disbelief.” Then, he starts sprouting wings and is taken to a pastel alternate universe known as Fairyland.
Thompson is being sentenced to a couple of weeks working as a real tooth fairy by Lily the Head Fairy (Julie Andrews, yeah, THE Julie Andrews). But lest we forget our formula, our hero will embrace his new position and will learn a moral lesson. The End.
“Tooth Fairy” is a Disney movie not made by the house of Mickey Mouse. Even the director, Michael Lembeck, made his biggest films with Disney. He brought his same fake feel good emotions he learned from directing Disney’s “Santa Clause 2” and “Santa Clause 3.”
Does the film really need five writers to come up with a predictable and formulaic script? Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (from the much better “City Slickers” films) wrote with Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia (both from “Surviving Christmas”), and Randi Mayem Singer (“Mrs. Doubtfire”). No wonder the screenplay has an identity crisis and does not quite know how to mix comedy and sense of wonderment effectively.
Johnson is likeable and he’s surrounded by capable actors wasted in their roles. There’s Andrews as the Head Fairy and Ashley Judd shows up as Thompson’s girlfriend Carly. Even Billy Crystal makes a cameo to liven things up.
But the storyline, the script, and the sight gags seldom work. Even the funny on paper fairy tricks such as an all-purpose wand, invisibility spray, shrinking paste, dog bark mints, cat-away, and amnesia dust failed to get chuckles.
Little kids may enjoy some of the scenes especially the sight of Johnson in pink tutu which I heard the actor really wanted to wear in the film. A former wrestler turned actor who wants to wear pink tutu? Now that would make a better movie!
“Tooth Fairy” 1 ½ kisses
Country: United States