Fox // 2012 // 90 Minutes // Rated PG
Reviewed by Judge Gordon Sullivan // March 19th, 2012
Larry the Tooth Fairy? When pigs fly!
Whatever his merits as an actor, Duane "The Rock" Johnson has at least always chosen roles that are fun and not too far outside his comfort zones as an actor. He's really got two modes: he can be intimidating (and who wouldn't be, with his body) or he can be bemused ('cause he's big and dumb, right?). With his winking knowledge of just how ridiculous he looks, Johnson can make typical kiddie fare like The Tooth Fairy tolerable, if not always enjoyable. That particular confection was a decent one-off, the tale of a manly hockey player forced to stand in for the Tooth Fairy. A sequel was not in the cards. However, if money can be made, someone will -- and in this case it's a step down for everyone involved.
Larry (Larry The Cable Guy, Cars) tries to win back an old girlfriend by volunteering at her daycare. Of course he's a bumbling idiot, and he makes the mistake of telling a child that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist. His comeuppance comes in the form of the Department of Dissemination of Disbelief, a bureaucracy that turns Larry into a tooth fairy for crushing the dreams of a child. Really lame shenanigans ensue.
Honestly, I have a lot of respect for the Blue Collar Comedy Tour guys. It takes a lot of smarts to look that dumb and make it funny. I grew up around enough of those kind of guys that I find the humor funny without needing to identify too much with any of the characters. With that said, Larry the Cable Guy was always my least favorite of the bunch, and Tooth Fairy 2 pretty much shows why. Rather than relying on the more traditional jokes (or stories) of the rest of the Blue Collar guys, Larry the Cable Guy gets a lot of mileage out of debasing himself for comedy. When it's The Rock (whose massive physique gives him a certain dignity), that can be funny. When it's a slovenly redneck, it's much less funny when he does something silly and/or stupid.
Boy does Larry go out of his way to debase himself in this flick. He grows a glowing bottom as part of his duties, and, in a scene that ranks towards the bottom for kiddie-fare fart jokes, a flying Larry is propelled by multicolored fairy dust out of his rear. Yes, farts can be funny, but this is not a good example.
That multicolored fairy dust shows one of the other big problems with Tooth Fairy 2 -- it's obviously a cheap cash-in flick. First-year animation students could produce better effects with their weekly energy drink budget. Even the costumes suffer, as Larry's fairy outfit looks like it was acquired at an after-Halloween sale rather than custom-made for an actor in Hollywood.
The film's cheap feel extends to this Blu-ray disc. The 1.78:1/1080p AVC-encoded transfer looks flat and lifeless, though that's probably the fault of the source rather than the transfer. The film was shot digitally, and detail is pretty strong, with decent colors. Black levels are surprisingly consistent. The DTS-HD 5.1 surround track is heavy on the dialogue, which comes out clear through the center channel (except for what sounds like a couple of instances of poorly recorded ADR). The score pops up occasionally in the surrounds, but they don't get much of a workout.
Extras include four featurettes, only two of which are about the film proper. One is a making-of, and the other focuses on the little pig used in the film. The other two focus on Larry and a short explanation of why children lose their teeth in the first place. Ten minutes of deleted scenes and alternate takes are included, but no one needs more of this film.
I'm trying to think of something positive to say about this truly unnecessary sequel. I guess it's worth a rental if you have young kids with low expectations who think a guy in a tutu is enough to get a laugh. I guess fans of Larry the Cable Guy will enjoy his performance here, though it's below par even for his cinematic performances.
I can't quite say that I'd rather have a tooth pulled than sit through Tooth Fairy 2 again, but it's a close thing. Everything about the film feels rushed and forced; I suspect even younger viewers will catch on before the halfway mark. This Blu-ray disc isn't awful, which means that indulgent parents can rent it for their kids without worrying too much. Pretty much everybody else should steer clear of this flick.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Rated PG
* Deleted Scenes