THE TOOTH FAIRY

Wherein I lose faith in humanity


DO ME a favour. Go to the toolshed and grab the biggest hammer you can find. You have a hammer? Good. Now what I want you to do is put your hand down on the table, and then just go nuts on it with the hammer. Congratulations, you have just had an experience infinitely less painful than watching The Tooth Fairy.

It was really going to be a toss-up between Alvin and the Chipmunks: Squeequel, Old Dogs and The Tooth Fairy for worst movies of the year/all time. Now, I don’t hate myself enough to go and see the other two movies, but The Tooth Fairy has the early lead.

The Tooth Fairy tells the yarn of a past-his-prime ice hockey player with the nickname of ‘The Tooth Fairy’ (Oh, I see what you did there). A non-dreamer at heart, he almost tells a small child that the tooth fairy doesn’t exist (gasp!), and is subsequently summoned to fairy land to do fairy community service. But wait, it gets better!

Add in a hackneyed dramatic arc about ‘believing’, some quality Disney-style quips and sass, and you have all the ingredients of a giant bowl of crapola. We shouldn’t really expect any less from director Michael Lembeck, who is responsible for such cinematic bowel movements as The Clique and Santa Clause (both two AND three!). Sure, the direction is okay, but you’ve got to wonder when he sold out.

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'Oh no, I'm a douche!'

Speaking of selling out, there are a couple of cameos in here that will have you scratching your noodle. Billy Crystal for instance makes an appearance as the Tooth Fairy equivalent of Bond’s Q. He happens to be, the only redeeming feature of the movie, and is shamefully underutilised. Crystal does his shtick, and it’s good shtick, but you’ve really got to wonder why he signed on the dotted line for this one. Who knows, maybe he’s running out of money, but I prefer to think he was tricked into appearing in the movie.

Stephen Merchant is okay here too, but he is seriously slumming it from his days working with Ricky Gervais on Extras. I wish the same could be said about Dyawne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, but this somehow doesn’t feel like slumming it to me.

The titular leading man is just appalling. I mean, just dramatic excrement. You can really tell he got his acting chops in the now defunct WWF wrestling circus, as he hams his way through the entire movie. His punch lines fall completely flat, and it’s only when he’s in one-on-one scenes with Chase Ellison (The boy of the lady he’s banging) that he shows that if he reins it in, he could actually be a half-way decent actor. Maybe.

Seriously, he’s better off sticking to movies like Welcome to the Jungle, where he’s more confident spouting one-liners in between action scenes. Here he’s just utter, utter gobshite.

Julie Andrews puts in a shift as her now standard ‘matron figure in a pant-suit’, and is relatively okay but for all concerned, they’re just given a completely flat and uninteresting screenplay to roll with.  The jokes are bad, the half-arsed lessons are just that and you can’t help but feel by the end of the movie that suicide is an increasingly attractive option. I for one can’t live in a world where people get paid to make these sort of movies. You really should avoid this one as if you would avoid the plague. If you’re forced into watching this with the kids, bring a book. Better yet, convince the kids to see Up.

- James McGrath

ONE STAR OUT OF FIVE (THE ONE STAR BEING BILLY CRYSTAL)


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