4* Review By James R. Holland
This reviewer laughed so hard I thought I was going to dislocate my jaw. This feel good movie for the whole family was a total surprise. I’d heard nothing about it, I’d read no reviews and I’d not seen television ads nor previews of it even thought every time I go to the movies these days there are usually a good 45 minutes of previews of coming movies, television shows and live broadcasts of meetings and special events along with the usual funny Coke Cola advertisements and “please don’t talk, text or use cell phones during the movie” reminders.
The reason I ended up at this noontime movie escape was that it was the only film about to begin when I reached the front of the ticket line. I’d also seen the movie poster showing a grinning Dwayne Johnson, better known by his professional wrestling title—”The Rock” wearing a silly looking tutu and sporting a pair of feathery angel wings. I figured it was a kid’s flick but since I like The Rock and his usual dry sense of humor I entered the theater having no idea of what to expect.
There were only a few pre-schoolers in the theater with their parents or baby sitters since it was a school day. The film opened up with a minor league professional hockey game with Derek Thompson played by Dwayne Johnson bashing an opposing player so hard he went flying through the glass screen around the ice ring. He also lost a tooth. That was how Thompson had gotten his nickname—he knocked the teeth out of his opponents and the hockey-crazed audience loved it. They went wild shouting “Tooth, tooth, tooth.” Tooth Fairy was a hard-as-nails sports hero. Unfortunately he had a bad attitude not only against the other team’s players, but when adoring kids asked for his autograph and advice he completely doused their dreams with ice water and told them they had better grow up and lower their expectations. Dreams didn’t come true no matter how hard you worked. His young admirers’ dreams were shattered by his too negative, too-truthful advice.
One night the Tooth Fairy receives a summons to appear in Tooth Fairy Land for an attitude adjustment. Thompson ignores it, but soon finds himself sprouting wings and being sucked up into a glimmering tornado funnel of fairy dust. He arrives in Tooth Fairy Land Central dressed in a little girl’s tutu. Naturally, he looks totally ridiculous and from this point on the movie is almost “a laugh a minute” as the cliché goes. For his childhood dream shattering, mean attitude he is sentenced to serve two weeks as a real tooth fairy.
Julie Andrews, Stephen Merchant, Ashley Judd, young stars Ryan Sheckler as Mick and Destiny Whitlock as Tess plus the comic madness of Billy Crystal and other cast members make this a very, very funny GP Rated, 101 minute comedy-fantasy. It’s a film where the parents of the children in the audience may end up laughing as much or more than the younger members of the audience. The movie is relaxing escapism; good clean fun, a hockey fan’s adventure and has a good, healthy up-lifting moral. It’s perfect for the whole family. Dwayne Johnson is his typical “The Rock” character, but his comedy is much more successful than that of many other action stars who attempt to act in comedies. This reviewer wouldn’t hesitate to take his young nieces or nephews or future grandchildren to see this motion picture. Nobody is going to be offended with this movie and most people will be charmed by it. It’s a shame that the film doesn’t appear to have been promoted very widely. It seems impossible that this reviewer never even saw a preview or trailer for it. I spend so much time at movie theaters I sometimes think I should have my mail delivered to me there.
Ironically, when the film’s end credits start to roll it’s impossible to read them because of the comic antics still going on next to them while the names roll past. That’s probably not good for those people named in the screen credits, but it allows the audience to keep chuckling and laughing until it’s time to actually exit the theater. It’s nice to be entertained at the movies again. I’d give this movie at least a four out of five star rating.