Title: Tooth Fairy
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal
Directed by: Michael Lembeck
Written by: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel,
Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
Runtime: 101 Minutes
‘Tooth Fairy’ starts with an immediate introduction to Derek “Tooth Fairy” Thompson (Johnson), an enforcer for a minor league hockey team that has earned his reputation, and nickname, by knocking the teeth of opposing players out. Said introduction ends with fans cheering for Derek as he takes his seat, a custom recliner, in the penalty box after another incisor rule infraction. After the game Derek exits the locker room to a gathering of fans hoping for an autograph, one of which is an 8 year old boy who plays little league hockey. When the boy asks his hero for advice, Derek unloads a rant about the hardships of life and tells the boy to lower his expectations in order to avoid life’s disappointments. This quick insight into Derek’s bitter attitude is pretty much all you need to realize where this movie is headed.
Later that evening, at the house of his girlfriend Carly (Judd), Derek babysits Carly’s children while entertaining some poker buddies, during one hand Derek realizes he doesn’t have the $5 needed to call the hand so he sneaks into Carly’s daughter’s (Tess) room while she is sleeping and takes the $5 he had planted earlier that evening for her lost tooth. Derek wins the hand and the evening. Once Carly arrives home, Derek is alerted to a problem in Tess’ room where Carly and Tess are looking frantically for the money the tooth fairy was supposed to have left. Rather than help look, Derek decides to spoil the fantasy by trying to tell Tess that the tooth fairy is not real. Carly quickly shuts him down before it’s too late and informs him that she will be the one to decide when her six year old daughter is old enough to be told the truth.
Soon we find Derek sleeping back at his apartment where he is awakened by an odd growth on his back that turns into fairy wings and suddenly finds himself in fairy land dressed in a pink tutu to match his wings. Derek meets Tracy (Merchant), his appointed liaison to the land of fairies, Lily (Andrews) the fairy god mother of fairy land and Jerry (Crystal) the mad scientist fairy who’s inventions and concoctions make it possible for fairies to get in and out of people’s homes undetected. It is here that we, along with Derek, learn that he has been summoned to perform the duty of being a tooth fairy for the crime of spoiling childhood fantasies. Unfortunately, the cast of characters created for this film do nothing to stop Tooth Fairy from becoming a below average and formula driven film that was essentially a very poor re-imagining of ‘The Santa Claus’.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=4077&w=o[/img]If there is one genre that I am getting tired of seeing, it is the tough action star in a children’s movie genre. The reason I am getting tired of these movies is mostly because they are getting worse as we go. There are many problems with Tooth Fairy so let me get right to it. My biggest problem with Tooth Fairy is that Johnson is not at all believable as a bitter person until almost the end of the movie and it feels unbalanced when it reaches that part of the movie. Next, it feels like the cast is trying too hard and ultimately failing to make up for an incredibly predictable and formulaic script. From the bitter tough guy that learns his lesson and learns that dreams really do matter to the adolescent teenager son of Judd that just needs a strong male figure to believe in him, this movie is by the numbers and only leads to every performance being by the numbers. Everyone comes off as if they are just going through the motions, even to the point where it feels like many are overselling certain scenes in place of true enthusiasm. If I were to give anyone credit it would be to Dwayne Johnson as I do believe he wanted this movie to work however; I could almost sense that he discovered halfway through filming that there was nothing he could do to change its inevitable outcome.
Director Michael Lembeck has had a career mostly filled with TV with the exception of Connie and Carla and Santa Claus 2 & 3. Tooth Fairy would have been better suited as a made for TV movie on Disney or Nickelodeon as it feels like an amateur effort in regards to both tone and production. The special effects border on horrible, the “wings” are little more than a prop purchased at a costume shop, the green screen effects of the miniature Derek being chased by a cat and the flying scenes all look like they were shot back in 1992 rather than 2009 and the entire production from costume designs to set designs and special effects lack any imagination and are as uninspired as the movie itself.
Tooth Fairy is rated PG for mild language, rude humor and sports action.
Presented with an AVC 1080P transfer with an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, Tooth Fairy falls fairly short for a new release. Unfortunately I found the transfer to be almost as uninspiring as the movie itself. Colors were presented fairly well but seemed to be muted to some degree however; I think this was more of an issue with the way the movie was shot than a transfer issue. The reason I say that is because there is a lot of detail in the transfer, unfortunately it is the one downside with HD, and I am talking about age. Julie Andrews cosmetic surgery real shows and as much as I hate to say it, even Ashley Judd is starting to show some age which is a shame. A couple of scenes in the beginning actually had me thinking she has had some work done as well. Whatever the case, this transfer is not at all complimentary to either woman. I really wish this society could get over this cosmetic surgery thing but alas I know our vanity would never allow it. In the end it does way more damage than it hides.
As with the video, the audio is very lacking in across the board. The 5.1 DTS-HD-MA is less than what we have come to expect by today’s high definition standards. Surround activity is limited and feels like an afterthought when it is implemented. LFE is basically non-existent and the entire sound design is below average. The score is there but again fails to ignite any type of emotion relating to the scene and the end song at the talent show comes off equally flat.
Introduction by Director Michael Lembeck
Audio Commentary by Director Michael Lembeck
Tooth Fairy Training Center
Deleted Scenes with Optional Introductions by Director Michael Lembeck
- Derek Arrested
- Derek Takes Gabe's Tooth from Under Pillow
- Derek Scolds Tracy for Tricking Him into Gabe's Room
- Extended Version - The Music Store
- Extended Version - Derek Agrees to Help Tracy Train to Be a Tooth Fairy
- Extended Version - Randy's Talent Show
- Let's Go Behind the Scenes with Lem and Jake
- Lem and Jake Talk About VFX: Before & After
- 1st Assignment with Storyboards with Commentary by Director Michael Lembeck and Visual
- Wee Man with Commentary by Director Michael Lembeck and Visual Effects Supervisor Jake Morrison
- Flights, Tights & Fairy FX
- Wings and Fairy Things
- Creating Fairyland
- Tooth Traditions: Worldwide
- Flicka 2 Sneak Peek
- Sneak Peek:
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
- The Sound of Music
Disc 3: Digital Copy (English Only)
I like Dwayne Johnson and even when I don’t like the movie he’s in, DOOM, I still like his character and I hope they will eventually find the right vehicle for him. Tooth Fairy is a different case as I just had the overall impression that he didn’t realize what a mess he had gotten involved in until it was too late to get out. Overall the movie was watchable if you have younger kids as it definietly caters to the eight and under crowd but make no mistake, those of you looking for a movie closer to The Game Plan or even The Pacifier will be sorely disappointed with Tooth Fairy.