Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has starred in a bunch of family films in recent years, most the them not very good. “Tooth Fairy” – isn’t great, but it’s not bad, thanks to some help from his friends.
“The Rock” plays Derek Thompson, a professional hockey player. He use to be a star in the NHL, but he’s been stuck in the minors for nearly a decade, and he’s lost his dream of making it back to the big time.
Because of his bad attitude, including almost telling his girlfriend’s young daughter that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist, Derek is sent to Fairyland, and order to serve time as a Tooth Fairy. Mary Poppins herself, the great Julie Andrews, plays the boss of Fairies, but she doesn’t get to fly this time.
If you’ve seen the trailer for “Tooth Fairy” you may think that this is simply a hockey version of the football movie “The Game Plan”, which Johnson starred in in 2007. But “Tooth Fairy” has a much better film, thanks mostly to the supporting cast.
Ashley Judd plays the girlfriend, and she’s very good, and the two kids are both cute and believable. Plus another Hollywood legend, Billy Crystal, has a funny cameo as an older fairy who helps out the newcomers.
And British comic-actor Stephen Merchant is excellent as Derek’s helper, who has a dream of someday becoming a Tooth Fairy himself.
But it’s Andrews who is the most impressive. At 74 she still looks great, and can still deliver her lines perfectly. She’s been doing a lot of voice-over work lately (including in two animated films coming-out this summer: “Shrek Forever After” and “Despicable Me”) so it’s wonderful to actually see her on camera.
The plot of “Tooth Fairy” is pretty basic, and the message of believing in yourself and going after your dreams is nothing new. There could have been less of the relationship stuff and more comedy, but it still works.
“Tooth Fairy” is rated PG, for some mild hockey violence. It’s appropriate for everyone, and even the little ones should enjoy it.
On The Official Kid Critic Report Card, “Tooth Fairy” gets a B, which is a much higher grade than I thought I’d hand out.