Dwayne Johnson, from left, Stephen Merchant and Julie Andrews / Twentieth Century Fox, courtesy
November 8, 2008
OK FOR KIDS 8 AND OLDER
An adult character's loss of faith in his dreams sets this comic fantasy in motion. That's why its mildly dramatic elements may be a little beyond kids younger than 8. There is also ice hockey mayhem and very mild sexual innuendo. Much of this unevenly amusing movie's best moments are geared to adults by way of ironic humor.
The always amiable, if not comedically nimble, Dwayne Johnson plays Derek, a professional hockey player known as the Tooth Fairy because he has knocked out so many opponents' teeth. His career is on a downward slope and he's disillusioned and immature about it. His girlfriend ( Ashley Judd), a single mom, gets angry when he nearly tells her youngest (Destiny Grace Whitlock) there is no tooth fairy who puts money under her pillow. Later that night, Derek sprouts wings and finds himself standing before the boss ( Julie Andrews) of all tooth fairies in magical tooth fairy central. His sentence for being a debunker of tooth fairy dreams is to work for three weeks as a tooth fairy. His "caseworker" is a droll, wingless, very tall fairy named Tracy (Stephen Merchant). His supply of magical shrinking paste and invisibility dust comes from a wisecracking oldster fairy ( Billy Crystal). Trying to hide his temporary identity, Derek gets into lots of trouble.
The special effects look cheap and the earthbound part of the plot is old hat, but the tooth fairy stuff is funny enough keep the film afloat.