The Opportunists (1999)

Rating: C

Dir: Myles Connell
Star: Christopher Walken, Peter McDonald, Cindi Lauper, Jose Zuniga

It’s a kinder, gentler Walken we get to see here, a former safe-cracker trying to go straight in Brooklyn, while his friends lure him into one last heist to solve his problems. These include a failing business, a geriatric mother and a “relative” recently arrived from Ireland, not to mention having Lauper as a girlfriend (it’s okay, she doesn’t sing). The problem here is the pacing: the heist takes place too early, leaving the film not so much ending, as petering out.

As a result, it’s one of those films where I’ve got to write the review the next day, because there’s not a lot to stick in the mind. The details, however, are impressive. Put Walken in New York and he’s never less than highly watchable, tiny movements of his head and hands conveying buckets of emotion and character. If his King of New York had opened up a garage on getting out of jail, rather than bringing down his own apocalypse, the results might have been something like this.