Geoff Cox’s DVDs: Neighbours, Brick Mansions, Plastic, The Angriest Man In Brooklyn

The boundaries of taste and logic are stretched to the limit in outrageous comedy NEIGHBOURS (15: Universal).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 29th August 2014, 1:00 pm
Zac Efron in Neighbours.
Zac Efron in Neighbours.

High School Musical heart-throb Zac Efron continues to dirty up his image – after The Paperboy and That Awkward Moment – by playing neighbour from hell Teddy.

Co-star Seth Rogen is new dad Mac, who needs to let go of his youth, but it’s difficult as Teddy heads a college fraternity and hosts noisy parties with neon lights and naked girls.

As well as keeping the baby up, it’s a rude awakening for Mac and his wife Kelly (Rose Byrne), who discover they’re just not cool any more.

So, after initial failed efforts to be down with the kids, the couple start a campaign of dirty tricks in a bid to shut the frat house down.

The three leads are all crazily amusing and director Nicholas Stoller, who made Get Him To The Greek, gets the biggest laughs when he just stands back and lets them bounce off each other.

> Filmed before the death of star Paul Walker in a car crash last year, BRICK MANSIONS (15: Warner) is a ghastly remake of District 13, a far better French action thriller from 2004. Proceedings are relocated from a near-future Paris to a near-future Detroit, but the plot remains the same.

Walker’s out-for-revenge undercover narcotics cop has to join forces with an ex-convict (David Belle, reprising his role from the original) trying to save his kidnapped girlfriend. Their mission is to take down a drugs kingpin who’s holed up in a walled-off, no-go ghetto containing the city’s criminal population.

Any similarities between the first movie and this one end there. It’s poorly directed, edited, scripted and acted and does scant justice to Walker’s presence and Belle’s prodigious free-running skills.

> Fact-based crime caper PLASTIC (15: Paramount) has enough half-decent moments to make this passable entertainment for a night in on the sofa. A gang of credit card fraudsters inadvertently rip off a vicious mobster and they’re given just two weeks to rustle up £2million to pay off their debt – or else.

So they come up with a scam that involves a trip to Miami, a prince, several dodgy disguises and a jewellery heist.

Ed Speleers and Will Poulter fly the flag for Britain in a film which, nonetheless, panders to an American audience.

But the transatlantic sojourn is a mistake, smacking less of clever plotting than a sly marketing ploy. In view of the movie’s ambitions, it doesn’t quite cut it and might have stood a better chance had it stayed quintessentially British.

> One of the last films made by the late Robin Williams has been given a DVD release, but sadly it’s not one of his best.

In THE ANGRIEST MAN IN BROOKLYN (15: Lionsgate), Henry Altmann (Williams) has sat impatiently at the doctor’s before he’s finally seen by Dr Sharon Gill (Mila Kunis).

She’s enduring her own bad day and reveals that Henry has a brain aneurysm. This makes him even angrier, yelling and demanding to know how much time he has left.

Faced with Henry’s insults, the doctor tells him he has only 90 minutes. He storms out leaving Dr Gill stunned by what she has just done in a lapse of judgment. As she goes on a city-wide search, Henry struggles with his diagnosis, determined to make amends with everyone he has hurt in his life.

This schmaltzy effort seems to fancy itself as a Frank Capra-esque tearjerker, but it doesn’t work.