The Opportunists (1999)

THE OPPORTUNISTS is a low-budget, lower-powered, character-driven 
caper flick starring the creepiest actor alive, Christopher Walken, 
as an ex-con safe crack turned struggling auto mechanic in Queens.
He's having a hard time makin' the ol' ends meet; bouncing rent 
checks here, falling behind on mom's nursing-home payments there. 
Instead of accepting a loan from his bar-owning girlfriend (Cyndi 
Lauper), the big lout tries his hand again at a heist.  The target?  
One shady, small-time armored-car company.  The accomplices?  Two 
shady, small-time crooks (Donal Logue and Jose Zuniga).  Plus this 
newly arrived Irish kid (Peter McDonald) who claims he's his cousin.  
Nothing much ensues, at least on the excitement front.  There ain't 
even a *whiff* of momentum, nor a sense of impending... anything.  
Walken, yes indeed he's Walken, is a joy to watch, however.  The 
veteran of sixty-six feature-films ("Sometimes when I'm driving on 
the road at night, I see two headlights coming toward me...  ANNIE 
HALL, 1977) is aging fascinatingly, his puffy face all interesting 
sags and stretches.  Equally mesmerizing is Ms. Lauper, despite ap-
pearing in way fewer scenes.  She's remains as lovely as her pop 
persona was annoying.  What a beautiful, cherubic, young-old face...  
Other appealing eccentrics include a towering Tom Noonan, quite the 
sight as a brown/yellow plaid-clad locksmith, and the aforementioned 
Mr. Logue, star of THE TAO OF STEVE and here hiding behind greasy 
long hair and Fat Elvis-style glasses.  He'll leave you wanting to 
spray for fleas...  Alas, the ending is unexpectedly upbeat, though 
fashioned from a set of circumstances nearly impossible to fully be-
lieve.  Which means, of course, it's probably dead-on.  "Hollywood" 
has a history of making the real seem unreal and vice versa.  Even 
with cheap-looking independent films.  (Rated "R"/90 min.)

Grade: C+ 

Copyright 2000 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies as MOVIE HELL: Walken The Floor Over You

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros