Dwayne Johnson, the former Rock, is aging hockey player Derek “The Tooth Fairy” Thompson, a goon for a minor league team on the wrong end of his career path. And we go diving right into the main story, as Thompson cold-heartedly informs his girlfriend’s daughter that (gasp) there is no tooth fairy. This being a family film, that cannot stand, and Derek is quickly recruited into serving as a real tooth fairy as punishment for spreading disbelief. There’s actually some funny stuff here, as he immediately runs afoul of a snooty fairy advisor (“Fairy fight!”) and threatens to introduce him to “the Hammer Brothers, Jack and Sledge.” Billy Crystal provides some good vaudeville shtick as well as the gadget man (“It’s amnesia dust…”).
Johnson is of course insanely charismatic, even when stuck in a tooth fairy costume and asked to act against a green screen for much of the movie. His new job requires that he shrink down at the behest of the fairy kingdom and deliver money to toothless children. Of course his new job interferes with his personal and professional life at all the worst times, because even silly comedies need some sort of conflict, I suppose. In this case, Derek is also dealing with feelings of inadequacy due to a hot young star taking over his popularity crown on the hockey team, as well as the surly preteen son of his girlfriend. Really this is a lot of gravitas for a movie about the TOOTH FAIRY, and Johnson plays it all pretty much straight ahead (like Ah-nold in Kindergarten Cop). I mean, do people really get all worked up about belief in the tooth fairy? Even the movie can’t really muster up much of an explanation for why retrieving teeth from children is a useful endeavor, outside of head fairy Julie Andrews having some prattle about imagination being important.
Really, the main problem is that there’s really not much of a movie past about the first hour. Derek learns to embrace his inner tooth fairy, but they tack on silly conflicts with the star player and his efforts to train his “case worker” to be a tooth fairy, none of which is particularly interesting. It was looking to be a very entertaining movie on the back of Johnson and then just ran out of steam after the energetic first hour. And really, the Rock is such a likeable guy that the forced drama of him becoming a huge jerk to everyone in order to extend the movie another 40 minutes rings totally false.
And OK, so let’s accept the premise that the point of the tooth fairy program is to foster belief in little kids. Fine, so then why is it such a big deal that the fairies remain a secret? Wouldn’t it make more sense to just bring the program into the open and reveal it to everyone? For a movie that attempts to juggle four major subplots, it doesn’t make much effort to cover up the plotholes in the main one.
Anyway, that’s probably overthinking a movie that doesn’t require it. This is a perfectly acceptable and innocuous example of the “tough guys in tutus” milieu, not as good as The Santa Clause but not quite down there with Santa with Muscles or anything. Plus the Rock is in good spirits throughout and Ashley Judd, even in a thankless role as the chaste girlfriend, is still smoking hot. So it’s got that going for it, too. Recommended for kids, but adults will probably be bored by it soon into it.
I really like Fox Blu-Rays because they not only tend to include the useless Digital Copy (which even has COMMERCIALS at the beginning of the movie trying to convince people that this isn’t a total waste of disc space) but also a copy of the standard DVD. Choice is good. The rest of the extras are pretty much kid’s stuff, with a “Tooth Fairy Training Center” game, various deleted scenes, a gag reel, and commentary from the director. Nothing to justify the Blu-Ray version here.
Kids will probably love it, but I’m waiting for Johnson to do another all-out action movie again, rather than this stuff to pay for his gold-plated swimming pools. Call this one a rental only.