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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Tooth Fairy

May 2nd, 2010

Tooth Fairy - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack

Tooth Fairy opened in January, which is a notorious dumping ground for failed movies. That's a bad sign. It did become a solid hit and was the second highest grossing release of the month (only The Book of Eli made more). So with that, I went into the movie with mixed expectations. I wasn't expecting a good movie, just one that could entertain its target audience. How well did the movie live up to those limited expectations?

Dwayne Johnson stars as Derek Thompson, a career minor-league hockey player who never made it to the NHL, because quite frankly, he doesn't have the skill. He's there for his physical presence. He's an enforcer. He's a cementhead with a talent for hitting opposing players so hard that he knocks out their teeth. Hence the nickname, "The Tooth Fairy". While his fans love him for his hitting prowess, he's also considered over-the-hill by some, including the team's new star player, Mike Donnelly.

After crushing the dreams of a young fan, then stealing the money from his girlfriend's daughter (money that was supposed to left by the Tooth Fairy) he is summoned to Fairyland. There he meets Lily, the head tooth fairy, who informs him that he is being punished for being a, "Dream Killer". His punishment? Be Tooth Fairy for two weeks. Equipped with Shrinking Paste, Amnesia Dust, and other supplies, he'll spend the next two weeks as a tooth fairy, if he can survive flying school first.

Back on Earth, he initially believes his time in Fairyland was just a dream, but that changes that night when he's called to do his first job. Now he has to mend things with his girlfriend, try and keep his job in the minors, all while dodging cats and collecting teeth.

I could keep talking about the plot, but there's little point in saying more. In fact, I'm 90% sure this movie was made because someone said, "Wouldn't it be funny to see Dwayne Johnson is fairy wings and an tutu?" And that's where all discussion about the plot ended. The writers, and there were a number of them, instead concentrated on a few action scenes and many, many pratfalls. At least the pratfalls should entertain, unlike Derek's schmaltzy turn in the end, which was hardly deserved by the character. The writers went too far making Derek unlikeable in the beginning, so his redemption was a little hard to take. I can understand snapping at a fan after getting insulted by your new teammate. We all have bad days. But why does he steal the money? Cause he needs it to play poker with. Seriously. He steals the kid's money to gamble with. That's pretty hard to recover from as a character. In some ways, had he stole the kid's college fund it would have been better. This is just a combination of evil and really, really petty. "I needed that extra $1, so I could strike it rich." Such bad writing.

The film is directed by Michael Lembeck, who directed the final two Santa Clause movies, so he knows his way around the material. However, this is as unchallenging a family film as you can find. Not even the hockey scenes come off as authentic.

I only have the Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack, but it does comes with the DVD, which I assume is the same as the DVD. If it is, there are not a lot of extras to be found. Tooth Fairy Training Center is a 20-minute exercise routine with exercises based around the events of the movie. It is certainly a unique extra for a DVD. There is also a Fairyoke version of "Wind Beneath My Wings" you can sing along with.

Over on the Blu-ray portion of the Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack there are a few additional extras, including an intro by the director. He also sits down for a solo audio commentary track. There's a lot of talk about how the special effects are shot, when the stunt doubles are used, etc. but there's not a lot of substantive information here, nor is there a lot of energy. There are two-and-a-half minutes of outtakes, 11 minutes of deleted scenes (with intros), finally, there are nearly 40 minutes of making of behind-the-scenes / making of featurettes.

Technically, the film looks fine, while the audio is not quite as immersive as I was hoping for. (I was expecting the hockey scenes to really draw you in. Alas, that was not the case.) This is not a disc you will pop into your machine to show off your home theater system, but it is perfectly acceptable given its target audience. Additionally, because the Blu-ray has so many exclusive extras, and it comes with the DVD and a digital copy of the movie, it is definitely the better deal.

That said...

The Verdict

Tooth Fairy is not a good movie, even compared with other Dwayne Johnson family films. Witch Mountain is much better than this; even The Game Plan is better than this. The Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack might be the better value over the DVD, but neither is worth more than a rental. And, this movie is only worth a rental if your kids are fans of Dwayne Johnson.

One final note, the jerseys worn by the Ice Wolves opponents in the game during the opening scenes immediately reminded me of the "Flying Skate" design the Vancouver Canucks wore in the 1980s. Since the film was shot in Vancouver, this might not be accidental.

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Filed under: Video Review, Tooth Fairy