tek's rating:

Maverick (PG)
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Caution: potential spoilers.

This 1994 film is based on the 1957-62 TV series of the same name, which I haven't seen. I must have first seen the movie sometime in the 90s, probably on VHS. But I didn't review it until 2020, when I watched it on DVD. And I gotta say, I think it's really funny and a lot of fun.

Bret Maverick (Mel Gibson) is a card player who wants to take part in an upcoming game where the winner gets half a million dollars. The entry fee is $25,000, but Maverick is currently $3000 short. So most of the movie is about him trying to obtain that money, which of course he doesn't manage to do until the last minute. But the antics along the way are, as I said, funny. At the start of the movie, he meets another card player named Annabelle Bransford (Jodie Foster), who also wants to play in the upcoming game, and who is also somewhat short of the entry fee. She tries to steal from Maverick (by picking his pocket while kissing him), but he catches her at it. Later, the two of them travel together by stagecoach, along with a lawman named Zane Cooper (James Garner, who played Maverick on TV). At one point, they're surrounded by Indians, and Maverick leaves with them, pretending to be their prisoner. But really, one of them (possibly the leader, I'm not sure) is a friend of Maverick's named Joseph (Graham Green), who owes him money. And while he doesn't exactly have the money he owes Maverick, he does find a way to help him get it... though that still leaves Maverick $2000 short.

Well, eventually Maverick, Annabelle, and Cooper are reunited at the big game, held on a riverboat. Cooper is providing security, while the game itself is hosted by someone called the Commodore (James Coburn), who is also a player. Another player is a bad guy named Angel (Alfred Molina), who had been pursuing Maverick throughout the movie to try to stop him from reaching the game. (He had a personal grudge against Maverick, in addition to having been hired by someone to stop Maverick.) And I guess that's all I want to reveal of the plot, but there are some fun twists. And I like how it all ends.


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