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Originally published September 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified September 28, 2007 at 2:01 AM

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Movie review

A glossy Disney tale

Disney has imagineered this movie with the same craft it uses to create one of its theme-park rides. It's sleek, shiny with bright colors...

Special to The Seattle Times

Movie review 2 stars

"The Game Plan," with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Madison Pettis,

Kyra Sedgwick, Stella Peck, Roselyn Sanchez, Morris Chestnut, Hayes MacArthur.

Directed by Andy Fickman, from a screenplay by Nichole Millard and Kathryn Price.

110 minutes. Rated PG for some mild thematic elements. Several theaters.

Disney has imagineered this movie with the same craft it uses to create one of its theme-park rides. It's sleek, shiny with bright colors and constructed with professional behind-the-scenes expertise. Most important, "The Game Plan" is Disneyfied to be a ride for the whole family, even if Mom and Dad would rather be partying on Pleasure Island.

Joe Kingman (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) is a self-absorbed, egomaniacal Boston football quarterback. He lives in a high-tech bachelor pad, plastered with tributes to his own greatness and lit primarily by the preternatural gleaming of his teeth. His me-centered life gets an unwanted timeout when an adorable 7-year-old girl (overpoweringly cute and precocious Madison Pettis) shows up claiming to be his daughter.

The Rock's unbelievable dancing pecs and Pettis' batting eyelashes and equally pearly whites are almost distracting enough to make you forget about the rote plot mechanics.

Does Joe overcome his selfishness on and off the field as he comes to love and need this child in his life? Are there picturesque musical montages and lots of lovable lugs on the football team who fall for her equally hard? Hey, don't ask me for spoilers.

I will say the movie turns overly maudlin in the third act, and it could have done without the weird interpretive ballet subplot that helps soften Joe up. Otherwise, "The Game Plan" is as polished and innocuous as a spin around the park on Dumbo.

Ted Fry: tedfry@hotmail.com

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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