There are times, and they are perhaps not exceedingly rare, when the film criticism world can let you down. On the other hand, these are usually times when much amusement is provided as well.
The Tooth Fairy, I apparently must note, is a movie about tooth fairies. You may be inclined to discuss the ways in which you find much of what happens in this film “silly”, and you may do so with much haughty negativity behind your view, but you should be warned that I will smirk at you with reckless abandon, and reiterate that the film is about tooth fairies.
Dwayne Johnson is Derek Thompson, a minor-league hockey player who was at one point on his way to the bigs. An injury has instead relegated the aging bruiser to the position of biggest deal in little deal hockey, with no real potential for upward mobility.
Derek is fairly comfortable with his life, and has a good relationship with his girlfriend, Carly (Ashley Judd), and her two kids. But, when a new hotshot player comes to the team, who is only there to show off a little before going to the NHL, Derek doesn’t take it very well. Not only does he tear apart a little hockey fan after the game, he has a crack at believing in the tooth fairy as well. Before long, he’s smashing dreams and hopes wherever he finds them.
He’s sentenced to serving time as a Tooth Fairy for two weeks. Naturally, things don’t go so well, his attitude is slow to change, and he during the ride he isn’t scoring a lot of points with Carly, her kids, or his team.
The laughs come from Derek’s time in (I guess) Fairyland, learning the trade secrets from Billy Crystal, butting heads with head fairy Julie Andrews, and fighting with his case supervisor, The Office‘s Stephen Merchant. The drama, and the odd gag involving hiding wings, comes from trying to stay in his relationship and make peace with Carly’s teen son.
Things play out rather routinely, and there might easily have been a version of this film which was aiming at more inclusion for those beyond “tooth fairy years,” but it’s a fun film for the young with little to actively dislike.
The ultimate play on believing in yourself, and dreaming your dreams doesn’t get spread to thick. I can’t imagine adults pulling much entertainment value from it, but the kids will like it, and unlike many choices out there, I don’t think you’ll mind that they do.
Something about Dwayne Johnson lends some watchability to the goofiest of scenarios, and Stephen Merchant steals the show, especially late in the game when the two manage to bond to a degree.
Though nothing about The Tooth Fairy ever amounts to side-stepping its intensely silly premise, and even kids won’t be wowed, or add it to their list of favorites, it doesn’t breakdown either. The focus only reaches a sort of shenanigan level, and the movie could almost be classified as a shenanigan as a whole, which renders it innocuous enough I suppose, and the family-centered story comes through well actually.
Yes, I’d always prefer a movie with more that could hold my attention (Billy Crystal was a lot of fun, but only around for a minute or two), but the fact not all films are trying to talk to me doesn’t make the ones that aren’t bad by definition. My kid liked it pretty well, even if he doesn’t want a Tooth Fairy toy. He also not only understood it, but thought it was pretty cool that big, tough, famous Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would purposely look stupid to make the point.
What more do you want?
DVD Special Features
The standard DVD release doesn’t come with a lot in the bonus category. Apart from the trailer and a Flicka 2 Sneak Peek, there is an interactive feature called Train to be a Tooth Fairy, and Fairy-oke. The first is a sort of themed exercise video for children. With a variety of standard exercises given fairy-centric names, and related to the demands of the job, a host fairy walks you through a routine. At the end, you get to be an honorary tooth fairy.
Fairy-oke is a quick feature with Dwayne Johnson and Stephen Merchant singing, and I’m not even going to spoil the surprise of what song they sing, but it’s pretty funny.
The Blu-Ray release has these additional features-
Deleted Scenes with Optional Introductions
“Behind the Scenes”
o Behind the Scenes” with Lem and Jake and
o Lem and Jake Talk About VFX: Before and After
o 1st Assignment with Storyboards
o Wings and Fairy Things – Costume Design
o Flights, Tights and Fairy FX – How The Magic Was Brought To Life
o Creating Fairyland – Production Design