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movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Maverick

Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster
Director: Richard Donner
Rated: PG
RunTime: 120 Minutes
Release Date: May 1994
Genres: Action, Comedy, Western

*Also starring: James Garner, Graham Greene, James Coburn, Alfred Molina, Paul Smith, Geoffrey Lewis, Dan Hedaya, Robert Fuller

Review by Steve Rhodes
1½ stars out of 4

Hollywood finds a surefire recipe for success. Take a legendary TV show and remake it as movie with today's heartthrob (Mel Gibson) as the lead (Maverick). Cast the original actor (James Garner) as a costar (playing a lawman). For love interest, spend more big bucks and get Jodie Foster as a competing gambler and possible lover for Maverick. Film it with sweeping cinematography by an Academy Award winner (Vilmos Zsigmond). Finally, get the Lethal Weapons director (Richard Donner) to direct it. The result has to be a MAVERICK that is a monster hit.

Ho hum. There were laughs - mainly of modest sized proportions. Between laughs there were long periods of boredom.

On the good side, Jodie Foster was wonderfully counter typecast as a sweet and comedic actress rather than the usual serious and hard edged characters she normally plays. Granted she was always trying to outwit and cheat Maverick, but on the surface she had this wonderful sweet smile. If you are of the I'd-be-happy-to-see-Mel-Gibson-reading-the-phone-book variety of Mel Gibson fan, then you will like this movie. He too has a nice smile in it and looks great as he always does.

If they had edited down to an hour, it would have been a passable made for TV, Maverick returns for one more episode, sort of show. There is a single simple problem with this movie. In the script by William Goldman, there is almost nothing interesting that happens and what does happen are simple retreads of themes done countless times before. One more Western without much new to say and with jokes that rarely work.

Copyright 1994 Steve Rhodes

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