Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Tooth Fairy (*)

The Tooth Fairy. 102 mins. PG. Directed by Michael Lembeck. Written by Lowell Ganz & Babaloo Mandel. Starring Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Billy Crystal, and Julie Andrews.

If puns like the one you see on its poster and the idea of The Rock wearing cheap-looking fairy wings makes you giggle, you're going to absolutely love The Tooth Fairy. For the rest of us, whom I suspect is just about everyone, you will want to flee from the theater. That is, of course, if you made the big mistake of going to see this crap in the first place. Me? I reluctantly took my son to see it, having already seen The Squeakquel and having zero desire to see Jackie Chan play a spy next door. And while my son probably could have stayed and watched it a little longer, I couldn't, so I whisked both of us out of the theater after about an hour, vowing never to return to a Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson family flick. Seriously, after The Game Plan and Escape to Witch Mountain, Mr. Johnson has now squandered all of the goodwill he built with the underrated The Rundown. The plot of The Tooth Fairy is idiotic - Johnson plays a petulant hockey player who, after telling a little girl that there is no tooth fairy, is summoned to fairy land, where he has to serve a two-week tour of duty as, you guessed it, a tooth fairy. There are a lot of talented performers here collecting an easy paycheck at the expense of respectability: Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, and Seth McFarlane, among others. Yikes - did they even read the script? In what world is this a good idea for a movie? If this concept is ever going to work - no real shot of that, by the way - there at least has to be a sense of wonder and magic permeating everything. There is nothing magical about The Tooth Fairy. It is a creatively bankrupt movie, presumably greenlit by a bunch of studio execs who have nothing but contempt for the family audience.

- John


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