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Overall Rating

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Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 4.76%
Pretty Bad: 33.33%
Total Crap61.9%

3 reviews, 3 user ratings

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Tooth Fairy
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by William Goss

"Brace Yourself"
2 stars

It seemed that the subgenre of family films where an oblivious father or tough guy is subjected to special effects wizardry until he learns a Valuable Life Lesson had generally burnt itself out in the ‘90s, what with your 'Santa Clause's, your 'Dr. Doolittle's and your 'Jack Frost's. However, one last remnant of that very familiar formula has salvaged itself in the form of 'Tooth Fairy', originally pitched as a vehicle for Arnold Schwarzenegger circa 'Last Action Hero' and left for his current macho protégé, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, to inherit and for today’s parents to endure.

Dear old Dwayne plays Derek “the Tooth Fairy” Thompson, so named for his knack for knocking out hockey opponents’ incisors out on the ice. After nearly ruining the illusion of the actual tooth fairy for the daughter of his girlfriend (Ashley Judd), he’s sentenced actual tooth fairy duty by the fairy godmother herself (Julie Andrews). Burdened with a pair of wings and armed with a slew of stealth-enhancing gadgetry, will dear old Derek suffer humiliation at the hands of his case worker (Stephen Merchant) and manage his secret identity before learning a Valuable Life Lesson?

(Yes. He does.)

Director Michael Lembeck (the Santa Clause sequels) and the five or six credited writers don’t stray too far from formula and never pass up a pun, while Johnson throws himself as willingly into the gags as he had in The Game Plan (without actually making any of them funny, of course). Thompson has to shrink himself down and escape a prowling cat, makes himself invisible and frightens parents, has to shrink himself down and flush himself down a toilet, abuses amnesia dust to cover up his tracks and so on. It’s generally harmless stuff, but hardly inspired, the exact end result one would expect from a high concept pitch that’s been sitting on the shelf and passed around like nobody’s business.

Andrews inevitable lends some authority and grace to the proceedings, while Judd plays up the requisite skepticism, but Merchant stands out as a particularly fussy sidekick. Goodness knows the Brit has acquired his fair share of accolades for his writing work with Ricky Gervais over the years, and far be it from me to mock another man’s appearance, but I found his wide eyes and wider grin to be constantly evocative of The Joker sans make-up, enough to distract from the limp sparring between him and Johnson’s character. Billy Crystal also puts in a cameo as the gadget guru of Fairy HQ, essentially re-hashing his Princess Bride role and coming dangerously close to giving grown-ups a laugh or two to hold on to.

On the bright side, kids should dig it and parents can breathe a sigh of relief that it boasts no fart jokes and only one Facebook reference (I guess someone DID update this screenplay since the ‘90s). For the former audience, 'Tooth Fairy' will encourage them to follow their dreams; as for the latter, it’ll remind us that chasing the paycheck is a far more likely scenario.

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originally posted: 01/23/10 06:34:30
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User Comments

12/21/11 jcar a guilty pleasure family comedy with rock, kind of corny but still has laughs. 3 stars
5/13/10 DK Quite liked Stephen Merchant, but everything else stinks. 1 stars
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  22-Jan-2010 (PG)
  DVD: 04-May-2010


  DVD: 04-May-2010

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