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    Review: The Tooth Fairy Not Painful, but Lacks Bite

    Dwayne Johnson, Tooth Fairy 20th Century Fox

    Review in a Hurry: It smells like The Rock is cooking a warmed-over Game Plan, as Dwayne Johnson plays a second-rate hockey player working night shifts as an actual tooth fairy and managing a suspicious girlfriend (Ashley Judd) and her kids. It's less painful than getting an incisor pulled, but you must be less than four feet tall to truly enjoy this movie.

    The Bigger Picture: The Tooth Fairy also feels an awful lot like director Michael Lembeck's previous efforts, The Santa Claus 2...and 3! Here's a regular Joe who doesn't "believe," and he finds himself in over his head in a world of children's fantasy. Sure, The Rock is more macho than Tim Allen, but aside from a few bouts on the ice, Derek (Johnson) doesn't engage in a whole lot of ass kickin'.

    Derek's stint as a tooth fairy, see, is punishment for discouraging his girlfriend's 5-year-old daughter's dreams of getting moola for a loose baby tooth. And as a magical temp, he's gotta enter a sleeping child's room, grab the tooth and leave a buck. You know how it works, but a seemingly endless amount of gadgetry is on display: The molar snatchers have access to potions that make you small, keeps household pets away and just in case a kid does see you, "amnesia" dust.

    This leads to such gags as Derek shrinking down to action-figure size, jumping on a finger skateboard and leaping over a cat. (Wouldn't be surprised if a take with The Rock yelling, "Cowabunga, dude!" that was left on the cutting room floor.)

    The story of a hockey grump who learns the meaning of fairy-ness is strictly by the numbers, and for a while, thanks to a strong supporting cast, that's enough. But eventually, the plot overtakes Johnson's dimples and things get, uh, long in the tooth.

    The 180—a Second Opinion: Some funny-enough bit parts include Billy Crystal as a prankster fairy, Stephen Merchant as a witty, wingless sidekick and Julie Andrews as—who else?—the Fairy Godmother.

    ________

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