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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Maverick (1994)

A gambler and con artist (Mel Gibson) is short $3,000 for the tournament entry fee to a high stakes poker game and he has just four days to come up with the money. Matters aren't helped by his two traveling companions: a pretty poker player (Jodie Foster) who has a penchant for picking pockets and a lawman (James Garner) who who has his eye on him. Inspired by the 1957 television series (which starred Garner) which had a five year run and directed by Richard Donner (THE OMEN). This amiable western comedy is handicapped by a bloated running time (it runs over two hours) which could have used some judicious editing shears. For example, the whole anachronistic Indian sequence with Graham Greene could have been eliminated or at least trimmed down. Gibson and Garner get a chance to duel with their comedy chops and Foster is charming. But just about everyone double crosses everyone repeatedly so that it becomes tiresome rather than amusing. You think how dumb can these people be if they keep getting had all the time. The score is by Randy Newman. The large supporting cast include James Coburn, Alfred Molina, Danny Glover, Margot Kidder, Robert Fuller, Doug McClure, Clint Black and William Marshall.

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