Dwayne Johnson has certainly muscled out an acting career for himself, hasn’t he? Pro wrestling notwithstanding, the man formerly known as “The Rock” has been an action hero, he has shown excellent comedic chops, and now he’s nudging his way into the family film market. You know what? He’s doing a good job. The material he’s given isn’t always the greatest, but Johnson on screen is likable and isn’t afraid to make a fool of himself if it means bettering the movie. Moreover, he genuinely seems to be having a good time whenever he’s on camera. What this does is help the audience have a good time with him. Such is the case with his newest DVD, Tooth Fairy, a fantasy film from Walden Media and 20th Century Fox that’s more than entertaining, even if it hits most of the same notes of every family film out there.
Johnson plays Derek Thompson, a minor league hockey player past his prime. Instead of being a force on the ice, he’s just an enforcer, sent into games to knock out opposing players. He’s earned the nickname “The Tooth Fairy” thanks to his habit of hitting his opponents so hard they end up missing teeth. Derek eats up the attention, even though he’s seen more as a novelty than an integral part of the hockey team. This point is driven home when a hotshot young player arrives and Derek is relegated to protecting the kid on the ice so he doesn’t get hurt. The tooth fairy is now the babysitter
Thanks to Johnson’s natural charm as a performer, Derek comes across as good-natured, even though he’s pretty cynical. For example, when kids tell him they want to grow up to play hockey be just like him, Derek doesn’t encourage them. Instead, he tells them the long odds they’re against and that they should choose something else to do with their lives. Someone who is able to look past his faults is Carly, a single mom that he’s been dating. Ashley Judd, who once starred in movies but now seems relegated to supporting roles, plays Carly. She brings a lot of warmth and definitely the right amount of strength and believability to her part. Carly has two children, six year old Tess (Destiny Whitlock) and teenager, Randy (Chase Ellison), a shy boy who has channeled his feelings into becoming an excellent guitar player. Continue reading