"Come on Rock… You can do better than this can’t you brother?" That’s the attitude I carried into Dwayne Johnson’s new movie, yet another sugary sweet children’s movie, ‘The Tooth Fairy’. I didn’t even want to see this mess but I drew the short straw and was dispatched to this movie which would then require me to poorly jot 700 or so typo ridden words about this movie. So armed with my mad-on face I went to this screening, which also included a bunch of kids that I was ready to slap to their senses if they allowed themselves to be hoodwinked into being entertained, sat down in my too-small movie chair and was ready to heckle the screen. About thirty minutes in when that six year old got out of her chair and slapped me hard for laughing to loud I realized that I was the one who had been hoodwinked into being entertained. I hate you Dwayne Johnson.
Mr. Johnson is minor league hockey enforcer Derek Thompson, also known as the Tooth Fairy because he is quite adept at separating other defensemen from their molars and incisors. Derek is also a hater. Seriously. Since Derek’s life didn’t quite turn out the way he wanted it to, he thinks nobody’s life will turn out like they will want it to and thus makes it his life’s mission to crap on any and everybody else’s dreams.
One thing that is working out for Derek is that he has this hot single mom of a girlfriend named Carly, who looks exactly like Ashley Judd, and Derek also gets along fabulously with Carly’s six year old daughter Tess (Destiny Whitlock). He’s not doing so well with his ladies tween aged son Randy (Chase Ellison), though I’m thinking all that’s gonna change before the final credits roll.
Anyway, after Derek almost tells the cute little girl that the tooth fairly doesn’t exist, he gets a surprise summons to Tooth Fairy Court which introduces him to the Fairy Godmother (Julie Andrews). I hate to get sidetracked here but are these filmmakers not aware of the fact that Julie Andrews sings? How in the world can you put Julie
Andrews in your movie, as a Fairy Godmother no less, and not write her a show tune to sing? This is completely unacceptable. Derek’s sentence, under the tutelage of his angry case worker Tracy the Wingless Fairy (Stephan Merchant), is to serve two weeks as a tooth fairy and learn to believe again. This will not be an easy task because Derek is a hater. Seriously. But through trials, tribulations, revelations and some other stuff, somehow, someway Derek will get out of the Penalty Box of Life and learn how to say… What If? Oh dear Lord…
Fairies unwind by going to fairyoke night. A fairy ruckus is called a fairy fight. Outstanding. There is nothing in describing the setup and execution of this movie, a kids movie for the most part, if not completely, that I can say that will separate it from any other movie of this genre. It is what it is. And it is funny. I mean… it is really funny. If you go into this film with a terrible attitude and somewhere along its running time it doesn’t get to you, then you are a better one than me because I tried to stay hard. I really did. I kept my mad-on face on as long as I could. I went into ‘The Tooth Fairly’ with a completely closed mind, and was happy about it, and Dwayne Johnson broke me down yet again. And it is completely on the strength of the charm of The Rock that this movie manages to work so well.
Now of course it does help to have Julie Andrews as the Fairy Godmother, even though a show tune would’ve completely set it off, it helps to have Billy Crystal dust off his old Jewish Guy shtick that only he can do, it helps to have Ashley Judd hanging around as a love interest and it also helps to have Seth McFarlane make a cameo appearance as a black market Fairy Dust dealer. All of these things help make ‘The Tooth Fairy’ be infinitely more entertaining than it has any reasonable right to be. But it is Dwayne Johnson in a tutu, which will give way to a powder blue uncomfortably snug Peter Pan costume and Fairy Wings that makes this movie move.
Yes it is terribly trite and predictable, no doubt. Unavoidable. Has to be. And perhaps they made Derek’s drink from the fountain of hater-ade a little too extreme? I know he had to be redeemed and all but Derek’s hater problems seem to require the help of a mental health professional more than that of a Fairy Godmother. But The Rock seemed to find a way to make it all work out.
And this is why I hate Dwayne Johnson. He’s tall, he’s good looking, he’s carved out of stone, he’s funny, he’s charismatic, he’s rich and he has the nerve to seem humble about it all. He’s the Anti-Me. Who could possibly like a guy like that?