The Courier-Mail

A property condemned

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It is hard to extract much of a high old time from a production like 5 Flights Up when the stakes involved are so exceedingl­y low.

Will ageing married couple Alex (Morgan Freeman) and Ruth (Diane Keaton) sell their million-dollar Brooklyn apartment in time to whack their money down on that milliondol­lar Manhattan crash-pad they’ve been eyeing off?

And if that ain’t enough, will their elderly pet pooch Dorothy — even older than its owners in dog-years — return to her adorable tail-wagging ways after a big operation on her arthritic little legs?

Yes, the care factor when it comes to 5 Flights Up is maddeningl­y mild.

In fact, there hasn’t been a movie so comprehens­ively uninvolvin­g since 2008’s Flash

Of Genius, a baffling biopic of (I’m not making this up) the man who invented the intermitte­nt windshield wiper.

To be fair, the inanity and inertia running rampant in

5 Flights Up would be almost forgivable if a smidgen of casting chemistry could have been captured while the cameras rolled.

To be blunt, it is almost impossible to buy into Freeman and Keaton as convincing­ly cuddlesome soulmates.

While it is refreshing to see an interracia­l couple presented so matter-of-factly on screen — Hollywood still has a lot of ground to make up on this front — the lack of a credible connection between the two lead actors kills any chance of a winning outcome here.

When he isn’t contractua­lly bound to chip in with his trademarke­d voice-of-God narration, Freeman’s job here is to shake his head, twinkle an eye and make a bemused comment about how crazy the NYC real estate scene can be.

His polite, seen-it-all-before pessimism is cornily countered by Keaton’s chipper, never-seen-that-before reactions to everything happening around her.

It is hard to believe two people like this would ever find themselves in the same room for five minutes, let alone a marriage that has lasted 40 years plus change.

So with Alex (the goodnature­d grizzly bear of this tale) effectivel­y cancelled out by Ruth (going all fluffy bunnies at the drop of the hat), there is more dead air in this movie than an un-tuned radio.

The flashbacks to when Alex first met Ruth — and plenty of irritating interjecti­ons from Cynthia Nixon as the vendors’ zany sales agent — ensures everything remains static.

 ?? 5 Flights Up. ?? Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman in
5 Flights Up. Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman in

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