The Rock is back in his latest family-friendly Disney film Tooth Fairy, a perfect example of a great concept ruined by a crappy screenplay and uninventive material. Directed by Michael Lembeck, who somehow managed to find work after the travesty that was The Santa Clause 3, Tooth Fairy is a present best kept under the pillow.
Tooth Fairy stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as cocky hockey player Derek Thompson, who practically goes out of his way to be selfish, even if that means ruining the dreams of little children. Due to some truly outrageous behavior, he is involuntarily enlisted into the Tooth Fairy Corps - led by Julie Andrews - to do two weeks of tooth fairy duty. At very inopportune times, wings grow out of his back and he has to flutter around to retrieve fallen teeth.
In theory, I like the idea: a big, burly hockey player is forced to wear unflattering clothing and fly around like a tooth fairy. Unfortunately, Tooth Fairy lacks authentic humor and, more importantly, a sense of magic. The movie should have played out like Jon Favreau's Elf, presenting an over-the-top world of fairies and pixie dust, but instead everything about the movie is extremely formulaic and bland.
For a movie about tooth fairies, the movie lacks a tooth fairy-centric plot. Much of the movie consists of dialogue-driven scenes between Johnson and his on-screen romantic interest Ashley Judd, not exactly stimulating stuff for 10-year olds.
Even the charismatic Johnson, who usually can rise above even the worst material handed to him, is chained down by the material. His character is more obnoxious than anything else, an unbelievable jerk who doesn't appear to learn much from his trials and tribulations.
Tooth Fairy isn't funny, magical or entertaining. It lacks material to attract the interest of children, and has absolutely nothing going for it for older audiences, either. This one doesn't deserve to just be left under the pillow, but smothered under one.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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