Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tooth Fairy

Directed by Michael Lembeck.
2010. Rated PG, 101 minutes.
Dwayne Johnson
Ashley Judd
Stephen Merchant
Julie Andrews
Chase Ellison
Destiny Whitlock
Billy Crystal
Barclay Hope
Ryan Sheckler

Derek Thompson (Johnson) is an aging, former NHL player with a large ego toiling in the minor leagues. On the ice, he’s the star of his team. His knack for dislodging teeth from the mouths of opponents has earned him the nickname “The Tooth Fairy.” Off the ice, he’s pretty much a jerk. He seems to delight in crushing the dreams of others. When, in a fit of anger he goes too far, Derek finds himself sentenced to be a real tooth fairy. The powers that be hope to rehabilitate his outlook on life.

Basically, this is The Gameplan all over, again. The difference is this movie uses hockey instead of football and our hero sports a pair of silk pajamas with Victoria’s Secret style wings. The Disney formula remains intact and everything works out just as you would expect. Of course, there’s cuteness all around.

That said, TF is still watchable. Mostly, that’s because of the star. Dwayne Johnson has both the larger than life personality and the willingness to poke fun at his own persona to make this type of movie work. His presence and charisma place this, and the aforementioned The Game Plan, a shade above similar movies starring other action heroes. His natural charisma and years as “The Rock” have made it easy for him to be “that guy.” He’s so good at it, we get it as soon as we see him. His presence is a commanding one. As a result, his scenes with Julie Andrews are interesting because she has the same sort of aura. Having them both on the screen simultaneously is to have two powerful magnets competing for attraction.

Sadly, the movie as a whole isn’t nearly as compelling. Johnson still carries it well. He also gets help from a couple fairies. Stephen Merchant, as his caseworker Tracy, plays nicely off the star. In what amounts to little more than a cameo, Billy Crystal plays the equivalent to James Bond’s Q and gives us perhaps the best scene of the movie.

Overall, this is simple, light-hearted family fare with the pre-requisite life lessons included. It’s nothing great, but it is cute.

The Opposite View: Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

What the Internet Says: 4.8/10 on (9/18/10), 17% on, 36/100 on

MY SCORE: 6/10

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