Wednesday, January 20, 2010

TOOTH FAIRY - Another Cinema Fodder

THE TOOTH FAIRY (fantasy comedy)
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal and Ryan Sheckler
Director: Michael Lembeck
Screenplay: Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel
Time: 102 mins
Rating: * * (out of 4)

LET'S CUT TO THE CHASE: It is January, folks, the traditional low period in the cinema business and a time when they let loose the 'turkeys' and 'turds' from the studios. You may recall this month's titles like Old Dogs, The Spy Next Door, and Have You Heard About The Morgans? - basically films about stars who have expired their shelf-life being given another chance at fame (or infamy).

Well, Tooth Fairy is another of these cinema fodder.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT? Derek Thompson (Dwayne Johnson) is an ice-hockey player dubbed The Tooth Fairy for his dirty habit of knocking out his opponents' teeth. When Derek tells Tess (Destiny Whitlock), the young daughter of his girlfriend Carly (Ashley Judd) that the tooth fairy is not real, he finds himself magically in Fairyland, sentenced to a couple of weeks' penance as a real tooth fairy.

To his horror, Derek realises he has no alternative but to obey Lily the Head Fairy (Julie Andrews) and as he adapts to his new position, he remembers his own forgotten dreams...

HITS & MISSES: To enjoy this movie, we must heed Derek Thompson's advice and "lower your expectations: that's how you'll be happy". Working on the theme about believing that anything is possible, this movie is aimed at undiscerning kids and indulgent parents. There are plenty of cringe moments (as opposed to funny), watching 'The Rock' Johnson in tutu and wings, trying to pull off some juvenile gags. It was not as bad in The Game Plan, but the former wrestler has less to work with here.

Julie Andrews, on the other hand, makes good use of her accent and regal looks to play Lilly, and Billy Crystal is fun as the guy who offers Derek a little bag of fairy gadgets (like shrinking paste, invisible spray, magic wand, dog bark mints and amnesia dust). The tough guy 'trapped' in the world of children comedy formula has been over-flogged since 1990, when Arnold Schwarzenegger played Kindergarten Cop. It is not funny anymore!



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