This week at the movies, we’ve got a muscular molar collector (The Tooth Fairy, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Ashley Judd), a race against time (Extraordinary Measures, starring Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser); and some angry angels (Legion, starring Paul Bettany and Dennis Quaid). What do the critics have to say?
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson hasn’t been in a lot of good movies, but he has an easygoing appeal that’s hard not to like. However, critics say The Rock’s likeability can only go so far when it’s stranded in a family flick as middling and unambitious as The Tooth Fairy. Johnson plays a hockey enforcer who’s tapped to become the Tooth Fairy after hurting a young fan’s feelings. Will our hero learn a thing or two about responsibility in his new role? Will hilarity ensue? The pundits say the cast is solid, but the film as a whole is by-the-numbers, lacking gags and life lessons you haven’t seen many times before.
At a time when the debate of health care dominates the news cycle, Extraordinary Measures benefits from timeliness — as well as the presence of such dependable actors as Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser. Where the film falls short, critics say, is in its execution, which has the look and feel of a ripped-from-the-headlines TV movie. Fraser stars as John Crowley, a man whose children suffer from a rare disease; desperate, he joins forces with an unconventional researcher, Dr. Robert Stonehill (Ford), to find a cure. The pundits say Extraordinary Measures has its heart in the right place, but it suffers from an utterly predictable plot and indifferent presentation. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Ford’s best-reviewed films.)
Perhaps the folks behind Legion were channeling the Book of Acts when they decided to embargo the reviews until the day of the film’s release — specifically the verse that says, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.” In Legion, the Lord has lost faith in humanity, and sends angels to bring on the Apocalypse. However, a group led by the Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) is the last hope for humankind. Kids, guess that Tomatometer!
Also opening this week in limited release: