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mdtinney's Movie Reviews (315)

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Maverick (1994) 
Sidesplitting Old West
3.5/4 stars

The Old West was about three things: thieves, women, and cards. All three are the basis to the 1994 western comedy, Maverick. Based on the 1960s TV show, Maverick details the events of Bret Maverick, a card playing, woman charming, gun fighting smart-ass played by Mel Gibson, as he heads to St. Louis for the big, half million dollar winner-take-all 5 card draw poker tournament. We see Maverick try to collect on debts owed to him by a variety of characters on his way to St. Louis. There is the banker, who is robbed while he is there and features one of the many cute cameos, this time by Gibson's Lethal Weapon partner Danny Glover, who utters the famous "I'm too old for this s---!" as he tries to get on his horse. Maverick also need to collect from his Indian friend, played by Graham Greene of Northern Exposure fame, in a truly funny scene. The Indians in the film have embraced the stereotypes that often appear in movies to make money for themselves. Along the way, Maverick is paired with a fellow conman, or rather con-woman played by Jodie Foster. With a thick, phony southern accent, sometimes we forget it's Foster on the other end of the playful banter that she and Gibson share. Also on the trip is Marshall Zane Cooper, played by James Garner, who played Bret Maverick in the TV show. Cute, isn't it? Alfred Molina plays a shady Spanish poker player, and James Colburn plays the tournament organizer. The poker scenes are fun, though it's doubtful so many great hands would actually come up when they do in a 5 card draw game, but I digress. Several country music stars have cameos as poker players, such as Clint Black, Vince Gill, Waylon Jennings, and Kathy Mattea. Directed by Mr. Lethal Weapon, Richard Donner, the action sequences look great, there is true intensity to a run-away wagon, and the vast vistas that is the Western United States look wonderful as well. It's a fun movie, one that is well acted and funny as well.


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