Dwayne Johnson is a bucket full of unrealized potential. The man made a name for himself with his WWE persona, "The Rock," marking himself as a bad ass and paving the way for a huge action movie career. So what, pray tell, is he doing in these fluffy family friendly kids movies? Did he learn nothing from The Game Plan, Race to Witch Mountain or his recent voice work in the atrocious computer animated picture Planet 51? Evidently not, because he seemed more than willing to make a fool of himself in his latest monstrosity, Tooth Fairy. Outside of the inherent comedic value of seeing The Rock flutter around in a pink tutu, this movie has little to offer.
Johnson plays Derek, a minor league hockey player who was sent there from the NHL after hurting his shoulder. He's known on the ice as "The Tooth Fairy" because he has a knack for knocking out his opponent's teeth. He's nothing more than a sideshow on his team, having not taken a shot on goal for nearly ten years. He is dating a pretty woman named Carly, played by Ashley Judd, who has two children, Tess, played by Destiny Whitlock, and Randy, played by Chase Ellison. One night, Tess loses a tooth and places it under her pillow hoping the Tooth Fairy will come and give her money. Derek is babysitting and agrees to humor her, but instead uses the money he has to gamble with his buddies. When she wakes up, freaking out from the lack of cash, Derek decides to tell her the Tooth Fairy isn't real, though he is quickly interrupted by Carly who gets angry with him. That night back at home, he wakes up to find a summon under his pillow. He has been accused of killing dreams and is forced to live as a real live Tooth Fairy for two weeks.
I like Dwayne Johnson. He's charming. He's good looking. He's even pretty funny when he is provided quality material, as evidenced by his role in the hilarious Get Smart. And I must stress, there is nothing funnier than seeing him wear a tutu and looking like an idiot. Laughter is the desired intention in Tooth Fairy, but the problem here is that we're not laughing with it. We're laughing at it. This is merely another in a recent string of awful kids movies with no imagination, intelligence, or bite. Much like the notion of an actual Tooth Fairy, this movie is complete nonsense and as soon as it's out of your head, the better.
However, I can see a good children's movie in here somewhere, but it's saddled down too much by writing that meanders all over the place until it has nowhere to go. Like the posters that promote it, the film is loaded with plays on words like "You can't handle the tooth" and "The tooth, the whole tooth and nothing but the tooth," all of which are as grating as you'd expect them to be.
The film also lacks a decent sense of direction, probably due to the fact that director Michael Lembeck's most prized titles on his resume are the last two Santa Clause movies, which God knows is nothing to write home about. The only shining light in this otherwise abysmal experience are a handful of decent jokes, mostly coming from the talented Billy Crystal, who plays a role similar to his fantasy turn in The Princess Bride. He is delightful and manages to drag a few guffaws out of the inanity.
Everybody knows that January is dump month, but this year seems to be extra dumpy. Limited releases aside, the only film I would recommend from it is Daybreakers. Since that film, I've sat through dreck like Leap Year, The Lovely Bones, The Spy Next Door, and now this one (with the inevitable stinker When in Rome rounding it out next week).
Still, kids may enjoy this, specifically the ones that still believe in the Tooth Fairy, and it was nice to hear the word "fairy" get thrown around without some derogatory connotation attached to it, but for those above the age of belief, Tooth Fairy is not worth your time.
Tooth Fairy receives 1/5