Who’s In It: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, Stephen Merchant, Ryan Sheckler, Chase Ellison, Destiny Whitlock, Brandon T. Jackson, Seth MacFarlane
The Basics: Minor-league hockey player Derek Thompson (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) is the grown-up equivalent to one of the Bash Brothers from The Mighty Ducks. He’s got a comely girlfriend named Carly (Ashley Judd) and the adulation of his local Michigan fan base, but Derek secretly seethes with discontent over the NHL career he never had. He’s such a sourpuss that he tells Carly’s adorable little daughter that there’s no such thing as the Tooth Fairy, but finds out that’s not the case when Julie Andrews punishes him with two weeks on Tooth Fairy duty – which is ironic, because that’s what his hockey fans call him! Because he's so violent he knocks other people's teeth out! Will they beat the comedy out of that one simple premise? (No points for guessing.)
What’s The Deal: If you can get past the horribly pun-tastic taglines (i.e. “You can’t handle the Tooth!”), you’ll find that The Tooth Fairy is surprisingly engaging for a totally conventional, Disney-esque miser’s tale that mines comedy from the image of a former WWF champ wearing fairy wings, tights and a tutu. Those wings, worn like awkward, sewn-on appendages by every actor playing a fairy, look as fake as the ones teenagers strap on at at Hot Topic during Halloween. But bad costuming is the least of The Tooth Fairy’s problems, because the film falls flat whenever The Rock strains for broad yuks – and be forewarned, that is often. Then again, he’s just so gosh darn winning that you might as well go along with it. So when it comes to picking a movie for the whole family, you could do both better and worse – which, strangely, is pretty much the rule when it comes to all of The Rock’s kid-friendly flicks.
The Actor Without Whom It Would All Fall Apart: British comic actor Stephen Merchant, who plays Tracy, the awkward and combative fairy assigned to mentor Derek in the ways of covert tooth-collecting. Funny and fearless, Merchant steals every scene with his cheeky-nerdy brand of comedy. Would you expect anything less from the co-writer of Extras and the original British television series The Office?
Blink And You’ll Miss: Seth MacFarlane and Brandon T. Jackson as worker fairies who show up just long enough for you to wish they’d stay a little longer. Julie Andrews gets to hang out a bit more as the no-nonsense head of the Tooth Fairies, while Billy Crystal totters about as the fairy equivalent of James Bond’s Q in a hammy performance reminiscent of (but nowhere near as great as) Miracle Max from The Princess Bride.
Least Believable Hockey Player Since Kenan Thompson In D2: The Mighty Ducks: Dwayne Johnson. I buy him as a football player, a secret agent, and a loincloth-wearing swordsman. But hockey player? Please. (And to those of you who share my unhealthy appreciation for the entire Mighty Ducks franchise, no, there’s not a single “Flying V” or Knucklepuck in this entire movie.)