We couldn’t help but notice that here in the City of Angels a lot of the billboards along the freeways these days seem to be living up to the civic nickname. Tough guys, it appears, wear feathers. Now both “Legion,” on the left with Paul Bettany, and “The Tooth Fairy,” on the right with Dwayne Johnson, have a wing, but do either of these Jan. 22 releases have a prayer?
“Legion,” which also stars Dennis Quaid and Doug Jones, appears to be the first shoot-’em-up seraphim movie in the history of Hollywood. When God finally loses faith in humanity (it was probably all the reality TV shows), he sends down his angelic legion to bring on the apocalypse. Bettany is the archangel Michael who makes a final stand for mankind with a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner. Scott Stewart makes his feature-film directorial debut with the movie.
“The Tooth Fairy” finds Johnson back in his now-familiar role as a brawny tough guy who learns valuable life lessons from youngsters in need of a big friend. In “The Game Plan,” he was a self-possessed pro football player who unexpectedly became a parent. In “Race to Witch Mountain,” he was a loner cabbie who became the reluctant protector of two alien kids. In “The Tooth Fairy,” he’s a surly hockey player whose bad deeds earn him a one-week tour of duty as the tooth fairy. Seriously. Expect a lot of dental humor. The indestructible Julie Andrews and “Little Miss Sunshine’s” Abigail Breslin costar.
— Geoff Boucher