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Tooth Fairy


Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Julie Andrews, Ryan Sheckler, Chase Ellison, Destiny Grace Whitlock , Seth MacFarlane, Billy Crystal

Director: Michael Lembeck

Schwarzenegger did it (Kindergarten Cop), Hulk Hogan did it (Santa with Muscles) and Stallone (Spy Kids 3D) did it. And now it's time for Johnson (the person formerly known as ‘The Rock’) to make a Kidflick, one which, given his super-shiny real-life teeth, made him a natural for the lead role.

Ice hockey player Johnson, who has made his name by parting fellow players from their bicuspids and incisors on the rink, tells his girlfriend’s kids the truth as he sees it – that the tooth fairy doesn’t exist and merely exists as a nice little earner for gullible youngsters. The result is that he is punished by ending up in front of Fairy Godmother Andrews (delightful as ever) and sentenced to be a tooth fairy for a week. Cue plenty of knockabout comedy, pratfalls and sheer silliness likely to appeal to younger kids, complete with a moral at the core.

Johnson is likeable and, even when sporting non-working wings and a pink tutu, sensibly doesn’t go the full luvvie, leaving that to Ricky Gervais’ invaluable co-writer Merchant to camp it up as Johnson’s case worker and aspirant tooth fairy. Judd has charm as Johnson’s girlfriend, the kids Ellison and Whitlock are happily unprecocious, while an unbilled Billy Crystal is unrecognisable.

Special effects are effective enough – Johnson shrinks to mini-mouse size to get into a house and exchange cash for a molar only to be pursued (homage to The Incredible Shrinking Man?) by a ‘giant’ cat and making his escape on a skateboard – the pace is good and the film never outstays its welcome. And it's hard to dislike a movie where Johnson, after meeting Merchant and Andrews – complains about a place where everyone has a ‘British’ accent.

Alan Frank

USA 2010. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
101 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 28 May 2010