The Opportunists

Directed by Myles Connell
Starring: Christopher Walken, Peter McDonald, Cyndi Lauper, Vera Farmiga, Donal Logue, JosÚ Z˙˝iga, Tom Noonan.
MPAA Rating: R for language.

Review by Matt Heffernan <>
September 29, 2000

It amazes me how many film genres manage to survive over the years. Just when you though another Small Town Girl Tries to Make It in the Big City story couldn't be made, along comes Coyote Ugly. I thought the caper was dead until Where the Money Is came out. Now, that genre is alive, but not too well (if a little better) in The Opportunists.

Christopher Walken stars as Vic Kelly, a mechanic who has retired from the safe-cracking business. Business isn't too good, and he can no longer afford to keep his Aunt Diedre (Anne Pitoniak) in the Catholic nursing home. His friends, Pat and Jesus (Donal Logue and JosÚ Z˙˝iga), try to get him to pull off a heist at an armored truck garage, where they dubiously work as security guards.

He refuses them, trying not to upset his girlfriend, Sally (Cyndi Lauper), who runs the local bar. She is willing to loan him money, but when he is visited by a man (Peter McDonald) claiming to be his cousin Michael from Ireland, he changes his mind. Michael is willing to go along with the plan, and Vic is back to his old tricks.

Sound familiar? Of course it does. Aside from a little creative writing, all that sets The Opportunists off from other capers is the brilliantly odd performance by Walken, who manages to look exactly like a skinny Joey Buttafuoco. The rest are stock characters, including not only a Sensible Girlfriend, but a Sensible Daughter (Vera Farmiga) as well.

OK, that's all that I feel like writing about this film. It was a mere trifle, has no chance of wide release, and will probably be on video by the end of the year. I put off this review long enough, and now it's time to see what this weekend has to offer.

For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database:
The Opportunists (1999) Home
Review Archive
Video Pick of the Week
Guide to Star Ratings

Review © 2000 Matt Heffernan