Directed Richard Donner ("The Omen, "Superman, "Lethal Weapon" series and lesser titles). Written by William Goldman, whose superior track record includes "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,"" The Great Waldo Pepper," " All the President's Men," "Marathon Man,""The Princess Bride,""Misery." This "featurization" of the old TV series spoofs both Westerns and the television programs that starred James Garner in the title role. Now cardsharp and con-man Maverick is Mel Gibson, Garner is the sheriff, Jodie Foster a fake-genteel Southern "lady." The supporting cast has some very funny portrayals, the best perhaps by Graham Greene as Maverick's shady accolyte, an amusingly anachronistic Indian Chief who speaks 1990's idiomatic English. The film was underrrated by the reviewers who compared it to the TV series. Being superficially acquainted with the small-screen episodes, I can take no sides. But with two of the most likable actors of the last decades (Gibson and Garner), an off-the-wall plot, absurdist episodes and much over-the-top acting, I find it charming and entertaining --more so perhaps when watched comfortably on TV rather than on the big screen that stresses the picture's 129-minute length.
Copyright © Edwin Jahiel
Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel