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The Opportunists
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The Opportunists More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Very little action, but fine "character study" starring Christopher Walken.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
8 August 2001

Christopher Walken and his girlfriend played by Cindi lauper are both New Yorkers so I'm certain they both felt right at home in their roles. Many who like fast action, snappy dialog types of films will be bored with this one. However, for those like me who enjoy a great, well-developed character study carried out in about 88 minutes, this is worth a viewing.

Walken plays a safe-cracker who has served his time and trying to go straight, working as a mechanic, and paying for his old aunt to stay in a home run by nuns. Always on the verge of debt, the sale of his car is saboutaged by someone wanting to get him to do one more job, the safe at the armored car office. So, pressured from all sides, he agrees.

In the safe, his halpess "helper", posing as a cousin from Ireland, gets Walken trapped and caught by the cops. He gets out of it when the business owner, who also runs an illegal laundering operation, fails to press charges. We see walken going back into Lauper's bar, presumably to live straight from then on.

The story thus is sorta victimless. Although Walken and the others are helped by the one money bag that is successfully stolen by the Irish guy, then split up, it was money illegally gotten. We are, I suppose, to forgive Walken because he had no choice. The most interesting scene was where he was practicing "cracking" the 3 different safe combinations within 6 minutes to avoid setting off the alarm.

The DVD is "budget" all the way - Dolby AC-3 sound, no menu, no extras. However, the sound and picture are not deficient, given the formats. Just a well-acted, low-budget film, and I enjoyed it.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Worth A Look, Good Small Film

Author: max31 from Berkeley, CA
7 September 2000

This is worth taking a look at. Walken does a commendable job as the small-time crook, now out and self-employed, trying to stay honest fixing cars in a garage. Cindi Lauper is good, piling on a thick NYC accent, first time I've seen her in a movie. She's likeable, very grounded in the movie. The supporting cast is very real. The result is, you don't like many of them a lot. They're average people, and we see them in less than flattering scenes. To that extent, you do like them because they're dealing the best way they know with events.

The movie works, in part because of what it doesn't do. It doesn't make us endure one of those speeches the wife or girlfriend or best pal gives the ex-con, just before he's about to commit to one more heist. Here, Lauper just tells Walken to hit the road, she knows somethings up, and it's gonna spoil the plans they made. Very low-key. No need to get into melodrama, everybody knows the Walken character, they're not going to change his mind with wailing.

I wouldn't drive across town to see the film, but if it's convenient, this is a good character study. It has some humor, too, but only as a byproduct of things going on, not a goal. The tone of it reminded me of the movie, Thief, but only in the sense that we're watching people who live in a realm most of us never go. I'd rather see this kind of movie than another one of those idiotic gross-out comedies.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Cyndi Lauper steals this film.

Author: hi_from_darren from Australia
7 March 2005

Even though it's not a big budget film, it is the acting that makes this movie so enjoyable to watch. Each of the actors gives a believable performance.

I already knew that she was a very talented singer/songwriter but who would have guessed that Cyndi Lauper was such a wonderful actor. It's a pity that she didn't have a larger role. I hope that she continues with her acting.

The DVD contains absolutely no extras - not even the movie trailer. It was never given a cinema release in Austalia but turned up on DVD at a budget price.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Very Enjoyable with a realistic story

Author: teensyweensy-1 from Australia
26 February 2004

This movie was paced really well and the characters were are very believable. I was especially suprised I enjoyed Cyndi Lauper's acting. Quite Good.

I am a Christopher Walken fan so probably would enjoyed it more than others. Even so it was a good, down to earth story with some morals.

It was interesting, funny and really very enjoyable. I liked the quirky humour and was glad I watched it.

I would definitely recommend it to anyone.

See it.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Former safe cracker reluctantly commits another crime to stay solvent.

Author: The Amazing Sharkboy ( from Glen Burnie, MD USA
4 April 2003

I think the writer/director's aim was to make a simple crime story (on a low budget) that had a very credible and believable feel - presenting characters that seem to come from any local neighborhood. At this the movie succeeds.

The scenes and dialogue are carefully crafted and the film as a whole is very well cast and acted. I liked Walken's understated performance. It's consistent with the other actors. Also, it seems more natural and devoid of the self-acknowledging flippancy found in some of his other work.

The movie is low-key, and one can probably see the end coming. Yet someone looking for a caper film without contrived suspense or melodrama - and a little bit of a character study - will find this rewarding.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

decent little character study

Author: E.B. Hughes (ebh) from United States
31 August 2000

Christopher Walken plays a loser auto mechanic in Queens, New York whose life is hitting rock bottom. His checks are bouncing all over the place, and his relationship with his girl friend, nicely played by Cyndi Lauper is heading nowhere fast. He becomes involved in a heist, with some bumbling locals. The film works well enough, but the writing is a bit weak, and it could have been directed a little better. But well worth a look. By the way, Walken is excellent.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Like "The Florentine" , "The Opportunists" is quiet but good .......

Author: merklekranz from United States
17 November 2009

Definitely low key, with only a nosebleed of violence, this caper movie is both unpredictable and entertaining. Christopher Walken, Cyndi Lauper, along with the entire cast, are excellent. What drives the film into above average territory is tremendous character development. We actually get to know who is pulling the heist, rather than rushing into it. So what you get is a very quiet film with likable characters who you care about. If you are looking for an edge of your seat high tech robbery movie, avoid this. If on the other hand you would like to relax and take time to understand some interesting thieves, seek out "The Opportunists". - MERK

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Efficient, but on the dull side...

Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
9 November 2002

After a distant cousin comes to stay with him, one-time safe-cracker Christopher Walken is lured into taking one more heist assignment. Too-familiar story nevertheless has interesting elements, both funny and dramatic. This safe-cracker has not come far in the last decade: he has to rent a fancy car as a ruse, his cousin is a crafty but green accomplice, and the two security guards in on the scheme are schnooks. Mildly enjoyable despite an overall feeling of lethargy and predictability. Cast is strong, with Walken doing his usual even, solid work and Cyndi Lauper (of all people) very attractive as a no-nonsense bar-proprietress. ** from ****

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

low key, straightforward, no fluff

Author: K.G.Wanamaker ( from Las Vegas
21 September 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Warning: contains spoiler

This movie, in the way it was crafted, reminded me of the craftsmanship of the great films of the forties. (Casablanca, African Queen, Mildred Pierce, to name a few of my favorites) That is, straightforward in telling the story and no superfluous fluff. The screenwriters could have easily gone astray in this film by adding love scenes between the daughter and the boy or even Lauper and Walken's character, but they deftly avoided this and stuck to the story. I enjoyed each and every performance and it is a shame that because of the Academy's focus on mainstream cinema Christopher Walkens will probably be overlooked at Oscar time. He conveyed so much with his facial expressions alone that it is easy to watch this movie again just for his low key performance.

My favorite scene in the film was where the Walkens character is practicing opening safes and his cohorts are watching this. Near the end of it they are shown asleep on the couch while Vic is still hard at work on the locks. This reminded me of the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane who slept while Christ 'watched'. I am not saying Walkens character is a Christ figure. But in this he and Christ were at one: they took their craft seriously. And later when the 'disciples' begin to loose faith in Walken's character he confidently parades out of the house and announces that the next day the heist will come down.

One minor glitch: Walkens character didn't impress me as the type who would botch an automobile repair job; so at that point I felt something was fishy, but I quickly forgot about that fact and rode the crest of the story. The minor characters were all equal to their roles and I was pleasantly pleased with Cindy Lauper. Give this one 9 out of 10 and hope it garners a Oscar nomination.

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Satisfying minor-key neo-noir

Author: mst-5 from japan
25 February 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers herein:

A ex-con safecracker (Christopher Walken) trying to live on the straight and narrow is enticed into doing one more job by people he may not be able to trust (a shady security guard, an Irish drifter, a little league coach). He cases the building where the robbery is to take place and meets a colorful lock expert (Tom Noonan in a characteristically excellent small performance) who helps him construct a mock-up of the safe. The job goes wrong, but the ex-con is bailed out in the end. Sound familiar? So we've seen this film dozens of times. It is then something of a miracle that "The Opportunists" works as well as it does.

Myles Connell's directorial debut is a relentlessly low-key, relatively low-budget, character driven neo-noir that satisfies because Connell never gives in to expectations and refuses to overwrite the characters. All the obligatory scenes are here; Walken visits an elderly relative whom he provides for; makes a mess of his legitimate business (auto-repair); is threatened by creditors; pleads (sort-of) with his girlfriend not to throw him out; practices on a mock-up safe while his partners watch, etc. In the hands of a lesser actor, this could all have been deeply mediocre, but Walken glides through this with the humble grace, and the quiet defiance of someone almost fatalistically detached from his own life and choices, but with a core of decency that we respond to without feeling manipulated. All the supporting players do a fine job, but this is Walken's picture, and Walken is a great actor, one of the greatest working today.

Watch how subtly Walken plays the early scenes where he refuses to take the job, and how consistently Connell has his actors play "emotional" scenes in a minor-key. Connell could have written "big" emotional scenes, could have given his characters dozens of one-liners, "zingers," but then he would have made "The Score" or "Heist." The Opportunists is better than either of these films, better too than "Ocean's Eleven." All these films tread similarly well-worn thematic paths, but The Opportunists aspires to the upper echelons of neo-noir drama thanks to smart, restrained direction and the presence of Walken.

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