The Movie Waffler Retro Review - Maverick (1994) | The Movie Waffler

Retro Review - Maverick (1994)

Directed by: Richard Donner
Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner, Alfred Molina, James Coburn

During the 1990's, film-makers loved to take classic TV shows and try to make them into full-length movies.  The results were real hit and miss, so when "Maverick" came out in 1994, one didn't know whether the film would prove to be comic genius or whether James Garner would disown it.

For the feature film, Mel Gibson played the title role of Maverick.  Maverick is a poker player in the old west who is trying to find out whether he is really as good as everyone thinks he is.
The largest poker tournament in history is just a few days away and Maverick is on a quest to win his stake in the game.  Early in the movie he meets Annabelle Bransford, played by Jodie Foster, a Southern lady who is a sharp card player in her own right.  While there is clearly an attraction between her and Maverick, she isn't going to be an easy catch.
Early on in the film it is apparent that effort went into not only the story but also the casting.  One brilliant move by the director was casting James Garner as Sheriff Cooper.  James Garner starred in the hit show and does a fantastic job in this film as well.
Without spoiling the film for those who haven't seen it, suffice it to say that Maverick and his companions have a series of misadventures leading up to, during, and even after the big game.
Overall, the story is well thought out with plenty of twists that are both expected and unexpected.  In addition, those of you familiar with older westerns and TV shows of the 70's and 80's will recognize a few of the bit players in the film.
"Maverick" is a fun adventure which truly captures the spirit of the original TV series.  Whether you are a fan of the original series, a fan of westerns, or just like a well written comedy, this film is one you should definitely rent or buy at your local Wal-Mart or on Ebay.

Ash Williams