Derek Thompson is an aggressive minor league hockey player who has earned his nickname “Tooth Fairy” because of his hard-charging blocks that causes the opposing player to become separated from his pearly whites. After an attempt to tell his girlfriend’s daughter that there isn’t a real fairy that replaces a missing tooth under her pillow with money, he receives a summons to serve as a real tooth fairy.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has found his niche playing bigger than life comedic characters with his perfect muscular body and a great white toothy grin. As Derek, he displays all the egotistical bravado of a WWF wrestler. Derek, once a major’s player, loves the adulation even if it is in the minors - until a new younger skater comes in and starts to steal his glory. His cynical attitude rubs off in his advice to young fans, thinking he’s doing them a favor by telling them to lower their expectations in life. He also doesn’t understand why his girlfriend Carly (Ashley Judd) becomes upset with him when he tries to tell her daughter there isn’t a Santa Claus or a Tooth Fairy.
One night, Derek receives a summons to appear in Tooth Fairy court, where he’s sentenced to serve as one for 2 weeks for his transgressions of killing people’s dreams. He’ assigned a case worker, Tracy (Stephen Merchant and at 6’7” towers over Dwayne Johnson), who must make sure that Derek performs his job. First off, Derek is outfitted with his fairy uniform - a tunic and blue tights. He’s given a bag of Tooth Fairy tools from Jerry (Billy Crystal) that include invisible spray, shrinking paste, cat-a-way, and amnesia dust. When Derek receives a text message with an address, he must stop everything he’s doing because the wings will pop out and he’ll be dressed in his tights. Derek can’t get his wings to fly or his wand to help him because it takes belief to get them to work, and he just can’t believe in what’s happening to him. He tries to take all the short cuts to complete his duty and according to the Tooth Fairy boss Lily (Julie Andrews), Derek is the worst Tooth Fairy EVER!
It takes awhile for Derek to warm up to his handler, Tracy, who also dreams of being a Tooth Fairy. He’s also trying to bond with Carly’s kids, Randy (Chase Ellison) and Tess (Destiny Whitlock), all the while trying to hide why he’s running off whenever the phone rings. Just when you think he’s finally coming around, he blows it when a really bad day on the ice rink causes him to explode at everyone around him. In this cathartic moment, Derek realizes that he must make amends and start to believe.
Director Michael Lembeck, who has done mostly TV and a couple of The Santa Clause movies, knows his way around family fare. The comedy is comfortably predictable and slapstick. The situations are painted in broad strokes so that you know what’s coming and easy to understand for the kids. It’s great seeing Julie Andrews and Billy Crystal acting silly, but its Stephen Merchant who steals the film. It’s interesting to see The Rock looking up at someone for a change. The movie is carried on the charisma of Dwayne Johnson, who fills the screen with his manly physique. Yes, moms will have a reason to take the kids. (Review by Reesa Cruz Hawkins of Dallas Movie Screenings)