The Opportunists
Review by Ross Anthony

There's a scene in this slow emotionally reserved film that well describes how audiences may feel about it. Christopher Walken (who's wonderful) has been prompted via financial desperation and a small group of slimy near-do-poorlies to come out of "normal life" and start cracking safes again. In this particular scene, Walken is practicing on a few combination locks while the group looks on.

Now, one might ask themselves, "Why are they watching him so intent, neatly seated?" Ironically, this is the same question I asked of myself about the film. And why does he want them to watch him? Again, what has the filmmaker here for me to see (other than a good performance by Walken)? And in their one last appreciation for my condition, the three thugs, initially excited about seeing this man open locks ... fall asleep all over each other.

The film opens slowly while introducing us to the characters in the first third. The second third, picks up the pace to leisurely at best. And just when a shimmer of anticipation sparks interest, offering a ray of hope that the pace will finally click into gear, the third third is completely absent.

There's nothing else overly incompetent about the picture. In fact, the dialogue is quite strong, acting creditable and cinematography fine to midland - it's just the pace and point.

One viewer who found the film interesting enough, still commented, "If I were going to give this film a grade, it'd have to be an incomplete."

  • The Opportunists. Copyright © 2000. Rated R.
  • Starring Christopher Walken, Peter McDonald, Cyndi Lauper, Vera Farmiga, Donal Logue, Jose Zuniga, Tom Noonan.
  • Written and Directed by Myles Connell. Produced by John Lyons, Tim Perell and presented by First Look.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:01:36 PDT