Wrestler turned actor Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, has a genial charm that’s salvaged many a predictable family flick – The Game Plan and Escape to Witch Mountain among them, but his best efforts raise few smiles in Michael Lembeck’s leaden fantasy.
Johnson plays Derek Thompson, a cynical ice-hockey player who is better known for knocking out the teeth of his opponents than scoring goals. But when he cruelly disabuses a toddler of the notion that the tooth fairy exists, Thompson is whisked to Fairyland, where supervisor Lily (Julie Andrews) outfits him with a pink tutu and sentences him to a punishment of two weeks hard graft as a fairy.
Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel’s pun-heavy script has been kicking around Hollywood for nearly twenty years, and finds an ideal conduit in the form of Lembeck, who created two sequels in the thematically similar Santa Clause franchise. But the mixture of silly sports action, po-faced life lessons for children and slapstick never gels, not helped by weak support from Ashley Judd, Billy Crystal and Stephen Merchant, all of whom seem pleased to take the Tooth Fairy’s money and run.
General release, Fri 28 May.