The Opportunists (2000)

Victor Kelly (Christopher Walken¬† Catch me if you can, Deer Hunter) is an ex – con from Queens who’s out of luck running an auto shop that basically being driven into the ground. One day a mysterious Irish relative appears claiming he’s related to him. However, he is soon lured back into crime by he and two other eager security and, left without any options, he decides to plan a heist to rob a low – security bank.

Walken and Lauper’s characters actually manage to outshine everyone else, including the plot. This movie kept me watching solely on the bases of watching Walken act. This man can turn even the most ludicrous of movies (Blast from the Past) worth watching. He shines in this and so does Lauper, surprisingly who is a very interesting character playing his wife who knows he out for no good but stands by him regardless. The best scenes in the movie are when the guys are preparing for the heist. The best scene is where Walken is practicing his safecracking skills on a mock – up and pulls an all – nighter. The heist within itself is a disaster and it was crazy watching a shoddily planned scheme tumble. I was very disappointed with this movie, simply because it has all the setting and mood of a caper movie yet completely disregards the potentially genius material it has.

Walken seems stifled in this movie both with his acting abilities and character traits. He often looks very bored and lacks the usual charisma and charm that he bears from his personality in every movie he’s in, even he cannot save this from being dull and pointless. The movie also has these potentially interesting sub-plots that also go nowhere including his relatives interest in his daughter, and the romance between Walken and Cyndi Lauper’s character. She’s the only character in this that seems to actually have a brain and decency but we never see enough of their characters or their romance. Donal Logue’s character is incredibly irritating and doesn’t add to the movie.

All the parts seem miscast and writer/director Myles Connell holds these great plots in his hand but fails to use them at all. The movie is more of a characters study than it is a crime caper that it’s usually identified as. Movies like “Heist”, and “The Score” are caper movies, as with this where the actually robbery is misused and underused to the point where we forget about the actual prime motive in the first place. The climax is ultimately unsatisfying and completely lacks logic or realism to the point it had me cringing in my seat and scratching my head. This guy broke into a bank! Shouldn’t there be some precedent to put him in jail even if no one is pressing charges? Ultimately it’s an unsatisfying portrait of characters with a storyline that fails at every corner. Walken and everyone are wasted in what would have been a decent film.