A young fairy bites off more than she can chew in Tooth, a tiresome kids' fantasy that is sure to put the whole family's teeth on edge. Clearly hoping some Harry Potter-like lightning will strike his caper, writer-director Edouard Nammour plugs his movie with familiar British faces, ingratiating child actors, and cheap-as-chips effects. Somewhere en route, though, any hints of charm got left behind like an old magazine in a dentist's waiting room.
Losing teeth is one of the more traumatic aspects of growing up, so Nammour's yarn faces an uphill struggle from the off. Yet it further undermines itself by presenting its fairies in depressingly literal terms: subterranean drones who creep out of the sewers in the dead of night to hoover teeth from beneath children's pillows and replace them with coinage.
No wonder Tooth (abrasive newcomer Yasmin Paige) is tired of her lot. Where is the magic, she asks herself? The answer is away with the fairies - or rather, those who've deserted Fairytopia to live incognito among humans. Tooth's remedy is to give all the fairies' money away to one child, bankrupting the system and threatening Christmas forever.
What tooth fairies have to do with Christmas is one of many questions that Nammour leaves unanswered, along with: "Who did you think would pay to see this tripe?" You also have to ask why the film is set in America when it was clearly shot at Pinewood, and none of the child leads - least of all Paige - can manage an American accent.
What little shine Tooth displays comes from its British contingent, with Harry Enfield, Richard E Grant, and Stephen Fry merrily filling in the cavities with a variety of lively cameos. Alas, no amount of celebrity flossing can save an ill-conceived adventure that numbs the brain faster than a double dose of Novocaine.