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Yojimbo's Movie Reviews (2316)

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Maverick (1994) 
"Maverick" by Yojimbo
2.5/4 stars

Infamous gambler and quick draw artist Mel Gibson teams up with con artist Jodie Foster and lawman James Garner to reach a high stakes poker game. With Richard Donner directing and Gibson in the saddle this was never going to be anything other than Lethal Western. Gibson is at his most likable though, and Jodie Foster shows some talent for comedy as the unscrupulous love interest, but it is Garner, star of the original TV series this is based upon who shows these whipper snappers how it's really done. The plot, such as it is, is little more than a collection of comic sketches as the three try to out-hustle each other and it relies too much on cartoon slapstick and in-jokes rather than genuine wit. It does however capture the spirit of the original TV series quite nicely and has a family friendly knockabout charm that Hollywood seems completely incapable of doing these days. No Blazing Saddles, but it's one of the better small to big screen translations out there and it made me want to seek out some of Garner's own comedy westerns from the 60s and 70s.


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