Although 'Tooth Fairy' contains enough witty one-liners to just about keep the audience interested, once you get over the admittedly funny sight of a 6'5'' man prancing around in a tutu, there is not a whole lot more to this by-the-book family comedy.

Derek Thompson (Johnson, or 'The Rock' as he was known to millions of WWE fans) is a bitter, minor league ice hockey player. Denied his big shot at the major leagues, he spends his days on the unglamorous lower circuit, where he is known by his nickname 'Tooth Fairy'. Derek has a penchant for violence, and is famous for knocking out the teeth of opposing players.

Derek almost lets the cat out of the bag to his girlfriend's (Judd) daughter about the non-existence of children's favourite the Tooth Fairy. First he steals the cash from under her pillow and then, when put on the spot, nearly tells her that the mythical creature doesn't actually exist.

That night, Derek is suddenly summoned by the 'Department of Dissemination of Belief', where tooth fairies (there are more than one of them, you know), work around the clock getting to millions of teeth from under millions of pillows around the world, and finds himself in a tutu having sprouted a massive pair of wings.

The fairies, in particular The Fairy Godmother (Andrews), are not happy. Because of his hockey league moniker and his readiness to end the dreams of a six-year-old, Derek is to be put on fairy duty for two weeks. Assigned a caseworker (Merchant), he'll learn the ropes; avoiding nasty house-cats, making sure he's not seen by the general public and of course doing the all-important business of sneaking into bedrooms and getting the gnashers.

While by no means in the top-tier of kids' movies, the deft combination of Dwayne Johnson and Stephen Merchant as the quarrelling tooth fairy odd-couple just about manages to save what is a very light affair. Johnson, the one-time Scorpion King, finds his niche as a tough guy turned tutu-wearing fairy. The gag is a funny one, but once you strip that away, and a short cameo by Billy Crystal, the film comes up somewhat short.

'Tooth Fairy' moves along at a decent pace, though, as Johnson has to deal with his own tooth fairy troubles, attempt to woo back his girlfriend, bond with her son and convince Merchant he can be a real tooth fairy, to name but some of the distractions from the business of adding any depth or meaning to the characters.

There is a nice nod to the modern non-nuclear family as Johnson tries to patch things up with Judd, but with a movie so loaded with schmaltz anything they attempt doesn't quite sit right. This won't matter much to the under-7's, as probably the only children that will really get a kick out of it are those whose faith in all things tooth fairy is still unbroken. However, with an ending that is so sweet it would give most adults a toothache, this is definitely for the young-uns.

Padraic Geoghegan