Written by Ash (A Toast) –
The 1994 film Maverick was another in a long line of “hey, let’s make old TV shows into movies.” This one was about the title character of Bret Maverick (Mel Gibson) getting involved in a series of misadventures on his way to the richest poker tournament in history. It is a film that had the potential to be a Hollywood bomb but rather turned out to be one of the most successful westerns of all-time.
When I first heard about this film, my first reaction was “great, another TV show made into a movie. Time to waste two hours of my life.” Then I discovered that the person that created this film actually had half a clue about writing both comedy and westerns. Next, this film doesn’t go the route of nostalgia for the source material, but more the route of a reboot. I was quickly sucked in.
Those that like a hardcore western with a lot of action will find bits and pieces of this film enjoyable, but don’t expect a western in the same vein of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Unforgiven, or even True Grit.
The film does follow, somewhat loosely, the original outline of the TV series in regards to story line. Maverick and company go off on a series of misadventures on their way to a five card draw poker tournament. Beyond that, the story is very unique and honestly very fitting for the classic series.
Another thing about this film that I found very enjoyable is that it included a lot of older stars from TV and Westerns from the 70’s and 80’s as well as a couple country music stars. You will have to watch the movie to find out, but I thought that it was a nice touch by the producers and actually helped give the film an air of legitimacy.
By and large, much of the poker play outside of maybe the final hand I found very believable. I particularly salute them for not trying to make a western version of Rounders. Let the film stand on its own merits in regards to the poker, for good or bad.
Thankfully, also nope
I have to side with those that originally saw this movie and must say that it far exceeded any expectations that I could have conceived. It became one of the most popular westerns in North American history, and that was quite a feat considering the history of westerns in film.
Whether or not you are a fan of the original Maverick TV show, you should check out this movie. It has action, comedy, twists and turns, and a big reveal at the end that is worth sticking around for.
Take a Drink: every time you see Angel’s cheesy mustache.
Take a Drink: when Annabelle steals something.
Do a Shot: when Maverick twirls his gun,
Chug It: when Cooper throws someone off the boat.