TOOTH FAIRY by GREG KING
Posted January 9th, 2010
Reviewed by GREG KING
Director: Michael Lembeck
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal, Chase Ellison, Destiny Whitlock.
The ex-wrestler and action movie star formerly known as “The Rock” has turned to making kiddie friendly films. The rot started with Disney’s The Game Plan, so I was not sure what to expect from his latest film Tooth Fairy. But it was surprisingly enjoyable.
Dwayne Johnson plays Derek Thompson, a minor league ice hockey player who has earned the nickname “The Tooth Fairy” because of his aggressive style of play that often leaves opposition players bleeding a missing a tooth. But Derek is something of a cynic and he ruthlessly crushed the dreams of many young fans asking for advice. But when he tells his girl friend’s young daughter that there is no such thing as the tooth fairy, he is in for a rude awakening.
He is summonsed to Fairy Land, and sentenced to serve two weeks as a real tooth fairy. He is issued with his own wand, wings and blue tights, which lead to some embarrassing moments for the macho man. Derek is shown the rules of his job by his handler Tracy (Stephen Merchant, from the UK version of The Office, etc), who himself yearns to become a fairy one day. At first Derek is reluctant to take his role seriously, but eventually he warms to his task and by the end of his tenure he is a changed man, and has even rediscovered his own forgotten dreams. Thompson also has to deal with the brash young new star of his hockey team (played by skateboarding champ Ryan Scheckler), with whom he establishes a rivalry.
A number of writers have fashioned the screenplay, but it has been further polished by veterans Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, the pair whose previous films include Night Shift, Splash, City Slickers, etc. While it may not be their best effort it does provide some cheap laughs and a few good gags.
The sight of Johnson in wings and a tutu is quite funny. In the past Johnson has shown himself to be both a good sport and quite adept at light comedy, with roles in films like Be Cool and Get Smart that allow him to play against type. Who else would you cast as the stern but ultimately soft-hearted fairy godmother but Julie Andrews? She is perfectly cast here and is wonderfully prim and proper and straight laced, and her appearance helps us swallow this premise. Billy Crystal also has a small role as the provider of various potions that Derek may find useful. He is to fairies what Q is to James Bond, but he has rarely been this funny for ages.
Director Michael Lembeck is a veteran of television, but he has also directed the two Santa Clause sequels and is familiar with this mix of fantasy and wish fulfilment. Tooth Fairy delivers some positive messages about the importance of dreams and childhood innocence amongst the laughs and the special effects. It’s a film that holds something to appeal for all ages.
few months ago we began seeing previews for the latest Dwayne Johnson movie, The Tooth Fairy. We’ve seen some of his other movies that were made for kids and enjoyed them, so when my oldest son chose this movie as the one he wanted to go see for his birthday we were all happy to make plans to see it.A word of warning to parents out there, the first part of the movie does appear to shatter those fantasies about the Tooth Fairy and other big dreams. But, stick with it, by the end of the movie you’ll see that your kids won’t lose their innocence because our hero, Dwayne Johnson, comes through and shows that you have to believe in order for any of your dreams to come true.
The story begins with Dwayne Johnson at his minor league hockey game. He’s been given the nickname “The Tooth Fairy” because of his ability to slam into other players and cause them to lose teeth. He has had his own dreams of being a professional hockey player dashed and shares that with every child he runs into. When he begins to tell his girlfriend’s daughter that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist, he is summoned to Fairy World and Julie Andrews sentences him to 2 weeks performing the duties of a Tooth Fairy.
Yes, it can be a bit goofy at times, but I found it to be quite funny in spite of that. Seeing this over-sized guy in the Tooth Fairy uniform and trying to figure out how he will get in to pick up a lost tooth without the parents, children or pets finding out was entertaining. For someone who started out as a professional wrestler, he has found a perfect genre which appeals to kids. Of course, that huge smile of his doesn’t hurt either.
We took 8 children to see this movie, and overall they all gave it a thumb’s up and not one of them came out of it questioning whether the Tooth Fairy exists or not. Suspend reality and go have some fun with your kids and see this movie.