Almost a decade ago, I found myself on a rope line in Los Angeles for the DVD release of The Mummy Returns. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson was dressed impeccably, shaking hands and doing interviews with the various reporters waiting for a few moments with him. He'd just recently begun acting in films and had done a killer episode of Saturday Night Live, and while he had a slate of action films coming up, I wondered if we'd see him in any comedies. It would be both my first and last question with him. He frowned at me, gave me a look like I was trying to make him the butt of some joke -- inferring that he was destined to become some Hulk Hogan-like character in the industry -- gave me a pat answer about having a lot on his plate and things they were looking at, and then walked away to the next reporter.
Now here we are, 10 years later, and I'm saddled with reviewing a film based upon a 20-year-old script written for and turned down by Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was trapped in his deliriously terrible comedy phase. Do you remember the last time The Rock was awesome in a film? Do you also remember how big cell phones were at the time? Yeah. It was a while ago.
Well, Dwayne is back, this time as a hockey player known as The Tooth Fairy, a one-time superstar who, after an injury busted him down to the minors, took to hitting other players instead of the puck and became renowned for knocking out teeth. But when he tells his girlfriend's young daughter that there is no magical tooth fairy, the real tooth fairies get miffed and enslave him to perform forced labor until his will buckles and he learns that there really is such a thing as magic after all. Oh yeah, and that we all need to delude ourselves with dreams, lest the soul-crushing banality of the real world cause us to crave the taste of cold steel, put a revolver in our mouths and end it all. You know, kind of like the feeling of watching this movie beginning to end.
The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack (one of the greatest ideas in the current era) comes with all the assorted extras you'd expect out of this kind of thing: dull commentary, a short making-of, a gag reel, and a few deleted scenes. Both the DVD and the Blu-ray sport two additional features, one terrible, the other a great extra. The first is "Fairy-oke," a karaoke rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Johnson and co-star Stephen Merchant, made slightly different by the inclusion of small jokes between lines of the song. It's dreadful and about the worst special feature I've ever had the displeasure of seeing on a DVD. Ever. The second is "Tooth Fairy Training Center," a 20-minute workout video for kids in which a tooth fairy fitness expert trains your children to be proper tooth fairies. I'm all for anything that gets kids up and moving around, especially something that makes working out into something of a fantastical goal (like training to be a tooth fairy). Of the entire disc, it's the one thing I thought to be a feature worthy of the word special.
Over all, this is one to miss -- unless, of course, you have kids clamoring to see it.
Tooth Fairy is available now from 20th century Fox Home Entertainment.