From the Editor

Movie Review Archive

Thank you for checking out my movie review archive. I'm in the process of transitioning to something else, so I will no longer post new reviews to this blog. In the meantime, I will keep these reviews archived; these are from the fall of 2008 to April 2011. Please watch this blog for more info and keep in touch (you can still find me on Facebook and Twitter). Here's to more great movies!

Wes Singleton

North Texas Film Critics Association

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Tooth Fairy - D+

Rated PG for mild language, some rude humor and sports action, 105 minutes

Ever had a toothache? "The Tooth Fairy" is about as much fun

The new comedy "The Tooth Fairy" starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is much like a trip to the dentist. Nothing personal against the dentist, but it's usually unpleasant, unfunny and you want it to be over as soon as possible. Nothing against The Rock, who's proven to be an agile, likable movie star, but his new movie is a painfully unfunny, near-dreadful experience that's an example of factory movie-making for the masses. Without the engaging, smiley former wrestler to periodically enliven the proceedings, "The Tooth Fairy" would be a total waste.

Johnson is Derek, a semi-pro hockey player relegated to the minors after an injury and who's nickname is The Tooth Fairy for his ability knock the teeth out of his opponents. After being a bad role model for some young children, he's sentenced to a week's duty (longer if he misses an assignment) of hard work as a real "tooth fairy." He frequently clashes with his fairy trainer Tracy (Stephen Merchant) and the head fairy godmother (Julie Andrews, cash paycheck please) but learns some valuable lessons along the way that will hopefully help him score points with his girlfriend (Ashley Judd, pudgy).

"The Tooth Fairy" is a largely laugh-free, flat experience with a sketch-like premise that's truly funny for a few minutes - seeing The Rock in a tutu is initially humorous - then goes down hill very quickly with each fairy episode. You can predict what will happen from the onset (and from the film's ubiquitous trailers), but you have to sit through the rest of the film to get to the best part - the end. At least some of the fairy gadgets are fun ("Cat Away," shrinking paste and amnesia dust are just a few), if not overused throughout the film.

Merchant, from the U.K. version of "The Office" and "Extras," is the most memorable cast member as The Rock sidekick, stealing moments from the likes of Julie Andrews, in a take-the-money-and-run-performance if there ever was one. Judd is totally wasted, as is Billy Crystal in an awful cameo that's supposed to remind us of "The Princess Bride" but really a reminder of how overrated he can be. One good moment: watch for a delicious cameo from "Family Guy" creator and voice Seth MacFarlane, who tries to sell The Rock some black market fairy gadgets.

The hockey scenes are energetic and Johnson is game and seemingly happy, but that doesn't make "The Tooth Fairy" any better experience than an actual dentist visit. At least you get a free toothbrush and a lollipop at the end of your visit. "The Tooth Fairy" is only good from the fact it's not an Adam Sander comedy, but if we have more comedies like this, it will be a long year at the movies.