TOOTSIE – Blu-ray review

“Tooth Fairy 2” is the direct-to-video sequel to “Tooth Fairy” (2010), which starred Dwayne Johnson. And you have to give The Rock credit. He made sure he was busy when they decided to make “Tooth Fairy 2,” leaving Larry the Cable Guy holding the bag . . . of sleepy dust.

This one is aimed at kids who still believe in the Tooth Fairy or are on the cusp of belief. Parents will think “Tooth Fairy 2” a yawner, and worse: a creeper. It’s another high-concept transformation film—“The Santa Clause” without the charm and the solid writing. While the ho-ho comedy featured Tim Allen turned into Santa after he accidentally “killed” him and had to take his place—complete with physical changes and the magic that enabled him to squeeze down chimneys—this so-so sequel attempts the same thing, but without the full magic.

While Larry the Cable guy has wings, they don’t enable him to fly, and he has to enter the houses like a burglar through unlocked doors and windows. Seeing Allen in full Santa make-up putting presents under a family’s tree was one thing, but it’s more than a little creepy to see a guy in pink tutu or overalls sneaking up the stairs or through a window into a little girl’s bedroom. A little more magic—and fewer distractions, as when the Cable Guy sneaks behind a couch to watch football over the shoulders of a husband and wife and grab some of their popcorn—would have made it seem less like a home invasion.

The plot is essentially the same as the first no-bite comedy. A guy ruins the magic of believing in the Tooth Fairy for a youngster, and the next thing you know he’s sentenced to do time as one of the regional fairies to make amends.

Let’s deal with the main problem first: the premise. Do you know how many parents there are in the world who, when asked point-blank by their older child if the Tooth Fairy is real or not, give it to them straight? By the logic of this film, then, most of the population would be serving time in pink tutu and wings. There are other problems too, in addition to the fact that everyone in this Central Florida town leaves the front door and all the windows unlocked. Larry gets a bag of magic dust but no magical way to get to the pillow, leaving him to hop in the shiny Camaro convertible he won and drive all over town in that winged get-up. Heck, if I tried to leave my house looking like that, it would take all of five minutes before the cops stopped me. It’s also problematic that while he gets zapped at will to some stark location where the head Tooth Fairy (Brady Reiter) gives him all his instructions and then zaps him back to his world again, Larry inexplicably shows up there later in the film, all on his own. How’d he find the place? How’d he do it without magic? And why did the writers and director Alex Zamm think they could get away with it?

Of course, anyone who’s ever dated also will wonder how in the world a self-centered man-child goofball like Larry ended up with a normal attractive woman like Brooke (Erin Beute) in the first place, and why, a year later when she’s engaged to a guy who’s running for mayor and owns a car dealership (David Mackey), she’d still include Larry in her life by allowing him to serve as an assistant at her after-school program for kids. Uh, background check? And why would she ask a mechanic who’s never seemed all that bright to help her “save” the school when she runs into financial trouble? Why not ask her successful businessman of a fiancé? Oh, right. Plot point. How else is he going to try to win her back?

For a comedy—even a dumb one like this, with its cardboard side plots—there are precious few laughs, and that’s probably a greater sin than the problems with logic. I laughed once, and my wife laughed at another spot. That was it. My son tried to fight the impulse to ridicule the movie throughout, tossing out jokes that were far funnier than the film itself, while my daughter (just past the cusp of belief) liked the movie. She liked the way the Tooth Fairy turned all of Larry’s stuff pink and made him wear a pink tutu or overalls when he worked. She liked the fact that the powerful person in this film was a girl her age. And she liked a baby “guard pig” that was chained up in a yard and used by Larry to make his quota.

That’s the audience for a film like this. For everyone else, it’s going to be a long night. There’s no kinder way to put it.

I was sent the DVD to review, but maybe that’s just as well. I’m not sure I wanted to see Larry the Cable guy in tutu on High Definition Blu-ray. “Tooth Fairy 2” is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, and for standard definition it looks darn good. Colors are bright and true-looking, skin tones are natural, and there’s a decent level of detail for standard def.

The audio is an English or Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1, with French Dolby Surround and subtitles in English SDH, French, and Spanish. The most you can say about the soundtrack is that it’s free of distortion. Otherwise, it’s a pretty standard audio.

Bonus features are all geared toward the little audience.  “Why Do I Lose My Baby Teeth?” is a brief lesson, while “Tooth Fairy 2 Introduces Crusher the Pig” zooms in on the cute little porker. “Larry the Hairy Fairy” is another one aimed at youngsters. In fact, even a behind-the-scenes featurette (“Return to Fairyland: Making Tooth Fairy 2” has a narrative that’s geared toward younger viewers.

Bottom line:
If you still believe in the Tooth Fairy or are young enough to remember the magic of pillow exchanges—teeth for money—you might think this is funny. Me? I was just creeped out and reminded that I’d better check all the doors and windows before I went to bed.