The problem is even with this, the overall execution of the story does not feel like a western. Very few events that take place in this western setting feel like it belongs to one. Instead, much of it feels like a parody of sorts due to its tone. That's not to say these scenes aren’t funny but the film's trailer presented itself as more a lighthearted western with some comedy. Not the other way around where it's all comedy and less western. This also doesn't mean the actors perform badly either. Mel Gibson as Bret Maverick has a number of good lines that make him a smart and likable character. An ongoing joke is that people call him Bert Maverick, which gets him annoyed. Jodie Foster as the slippery crime filly is fun to watch too. Her ability to trick people just by her looks makes her quite dangerous if one isn't paying attention. James Garner as Cooper has his moments as well, showing both a caring and selfish side. The most creative of the supporting characters is Graham Greene's role. It's interesting that he would play a fake Native.
This could've be one of the funnier parts to the film. What if the Native Americans were just putting on a different face when talking to the Europeans? It's completely oddball and clever. Yet as unique as this is, the film suffers from an over packed running time. There are some particular parts to the story that could've been cut to help slim down viewing experience. The biggest time user of them all is the actual gameplay this movie focuses on. That being Poker. This is also one of the more surprising things about this western. One would expect that since it's a western, the climactic finale would be dealing with a showdown or some kind of deadly match. In place of that, viewers watch Mel Gibson and characters play a poker game with each other until the last individual is standing. Unless one is a true poker fanatic, no one will know how to play the game the right way. This in turn could make the game less tense. How engaging will the game actually be for a nonplayer?
|Graham Greene (right)|
This is a fun western poker game movie but don't expect it to be more western than that. There are some shootouts but majority of the tone is comedic and has more parody like scenes than western ones. Nonetheless, the actors, cinematography and music all make it a tolerable goofy watch.
Points Earned --> 6:10