A highly promising first-time director, Connell has a fine-tuned sense of the film's working-class, Irish American, outer-borough milieu and of the people who've lived there all their lives. (The film's only false note is the overly chic cinematography by the usually dependable Teodoro Maniaci.) Although Vic is the focal character, The Opportunists is largely an ensemble piece, and Connell, blatantly appreciative of his terrific cast, allows them to riff off one another in every scene. Both Walken and McDonald seem like men who keep their own counsel, but Walken's gravity and tenderness is amusingly matched to McDonald's boyish impulsivity. And as usual, Logue impresses by seeming more like a real person who wandered onto the screen than like an actor.
Written and directed by Myles Connell
A First Look release
Opens August 11
More crucial to the success of a heist movie than the timing, logic, and mechanics of the robbery is that the audience be on the side of the robbers, that something of ourselves is at stake in whether or not they pull off the job. The Opportunists delivers an anxious five minutes when we worry that the Robin Hood-like Vic might not get away with what is essentially a victimless crime. Filled with vivid and likable characters, The Opportunists could be the basis for a TV series as captivating as The Sopranos.
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