Once upon a time Hollywood seemed to have a movement where studios sold movie tickets solely on name recognition. If your big movie didn't have a recognized name attached to it. Chances are it wouldn't do fairly well at the box office. Keep in mind too, that just because a big name is attached to it also does not make the movie quality. The 1980s and 1990s, the age of the leading men, didn't always produce the best of films either. Most of us, nowadays think of SNL's Dana Carvey as Wayne Campbell's sidekick, Garth, from the Wayne's World movies. It's also worth noting, in his day, he was one of comedy's most underappreciated stars. Carvey headlined his own show in the mid-90s which helped launch careers of Steve Carell and Steven Colbert respectively. Way before he was ever the Master of Disguise, he was a con man in a little movie called Opportunity Knocks.
Opportunity Knocks tells the story of Carvey's Eddie, a local con man, who gets in deep with the wrong guys with his partner, Lou, played by Todd Graff. Only when their luck seems to be at their worst, do they stumble upon the house of a business tycoon and live the high live until it blows up within their face. Perhaps the biggest crime of the movie is misuse of its lead actor. Carvey is a funny dude, a great impressionist and even a charming actor under the right script. At best, Carvey is given a couple of moments to shine here. During his time on SNL, one of the impressions, Carvey was famous for was George Bush Snr. In arguably one of the best sequences within the film, his impression is brilliantly used as a plot device. The moment is a charming one and a strong highlight of the film - even if they are few and far between.
Not to compare actors, but SNL has truly not only blessed us with great comedic talent but also some top-notch dramatic actors as well. Whether you're talking about Kirstin Wiig & Bill Hader in The Skelton Twins. Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love. Will Ferrell in Everything Must Go. We've seen the depths of emotion such actors are capable of. With Opportunity, Carvey is allotted to explore that same vocation of acting. His arc's peek moments culminate in a dramatic change of heart with his character. Honestly, it is some of the best acting and writing within the film. Making me wish Carvey would have explored other avenues of drama as well.
The story for Opportunity feels very paint by numbers. Bad man is missing something and finds it, ultimately learning the error of his ways. Quite frankly the predictability makes this film a bit boring. If it wasn't for the lively spirit of Carvey, this movie could be deemed unwatchable. The humor of the film continuously falls flat. Just about every cliché of comedy that exists within this film.
Overall, Opportunity Knocks, seems like an audience con. The charm of leading man, Dana Carvey, is the only saving grace for the film. His arc brilliantly equips a loveable con man, excellent use of comedic strengths and even dares to show his dramatic side. Though Opportunity feels weighted down with everything but the kitchen sink. Throwing every comedy cliché in existence at this film. It's funny at times but mostly boring and forgettable.
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