Tooth Fairy (PG)

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The Independent Culture

Three people I never imagined playing comedy together: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Stephen Merchant and Julie Andrews. But you can never say never where family entertainment's concerned.

Video: The Rock is back

Johnson plays an ageing ice-hockey star whose nickname, The Tooth Fairy, derives from the tooth-loosening tackles he makes upon his opponents. After puncturing some kid's hopes for the big time – "Dreams are useless," he says – Johnson is spirited off to do time as a "real" tooth fairy, sprouting wings and visiting children's bedsides under the supervision of goggle-eyed Stephen Merchant. The film confuses hopefulness with credulity, the latter being the indulgence of young kids who believe in fairies, the former the stuff everyone needs to get them through the day. Will our hero discover his humanity and learn to bolster the musical ambitions of his girlfriend's son? Johnson, game enough to wear a tutu, isn't a bad light comedian, and even gets a rapport going with Merchant. It's just a pity that the five credited screenwriters couldn't have written better jokes: the tendency is towards mush rather than mirth.