Hockey player Derek “The Tooth Fairy” Thompson (Dwayne Johnson) is a big, tough guy whose pro career fizzled but who continues to please crowds by being the heavy for his minor team. While he’s got an attractive girlfriend (Ashley Judd) with two kids, he has a very bad attitude and tends to rain on everyone’s parade, particularly those of children with big dreams. To teach him the error of his ways, he is summoned to Fairy Land (presided over by Queen Fairy Julie Andrews and helped by wizened Billy Crystal) where he sprouts wings and learns he must perform the job of Tooth Fairy for 2 weeks. Crazy antics ensue, with the man suddenly sprouting wings at inopportune times and having a nightmarish time trying to fulfill his sentence. In the meantime, he begins to bond with the girlfriend’s son, who is himself suffering a crisis of confidence. Eventually, both man and boy learn to believe in the power of dreams, build confidence through hard work and determination and open their hearts to love of self and others.
This is good, solid mainstream Hollywood family fare. Big name actors (Dwayne Johnson, Julie Andrews, Billy Crystal, Ashley Judd) appeal to parents, fantasy antics appeal to kids and the happy ending means everyone walks away satisfied. Kids will laugh at the physical humor. The audience age for this is probably 6-12, with 12 stretching it a bit. Filled with silly physical humor, hockey action and a well acted portrayal of a guitar-playing pre-teen boy who learns to believe in himself.
The humor certainly works for intended audience. While there is a bit of relatively violent action in the hockey rink, it’s no more brutal than a televised NFL football game. The heart of the film is about a man who has lost his confidence and therefore assumes everyone is doomed to fail like he has. His negative attitude and progress toward change are easily comprehendible for a youth audience. It’s a message both kids and adults can relate to and does offer some good talking points to open up a discussion with your child.