In this second bonus episode for the Lethal Weapon Rewatch, Cory and Nathan are following Mel Gibson and Richard Donner over to another project. “Maverick” also has a brief cameo from Danny Glover as well as a star studded cast. So, is this comedy-western a good bit of fun? Ya’ll come by and find out.

Maverick (1994):

In the American Old West, gambler Bret Maverick (Mel Gibson) is on his way to a major five-card draw poker tournament being held on the paddle steamer Lauren Belle. Maverick wants to prove he is the best card player of his time. Short $3,000 of the $25,000 tournament entry fee, Maverick travels to the town of Crystal River, intending to collect on debts and win money at card games. At an impromptu poker game, he encounters the ill-tempered gambler Angel (Alfred Molina), the young con artist Annabelle Bransford (Jodie Foster), and lawman Marshal Zane Cooper (James Garner).

Maverick, Bransford and Cooper journey out of Crystal River together, overcoming runaway stagecoaches and aiding migrant evangelical settlers who have been waylaid by bandits. The settlers offer Maverick a percentage of the money they have collected to start a mission, but Maverick cannot bring himself to accept it. The trio are later cornered by a band of Indians led by Joseph (Graham Greene). His companions are unaware that Joseph and Maverick are good friends; Maverick “sacrifices” himself to allow his companions’ escape. Joseph is indebted to Maverick; they scheme to swindle $1,000 from a Russian Archduke (Paul L. Smith) that Joseph owes to Maverick.

Angel receives a telegram instructing him to stop Maverick. He also learns that Maverick had conned him at the early poker game. Angel and his mercenaries catch up to Maverick, but unable to find his money, leave him for dead. Maverick escapes, recovers the entry money hidden in his boot, and makes his way to the Lauren Belle. He reunites with Bransford and Cooper, and Bransford is still short $4,000 herself. Spotting the Archduke aboard, Maverick poses as a U.S. Marshall investigating the shooting of Indians for game, conning the Archduke of enough to cover his and Bransford’s entry.

Commodore Duvall (James Coburn) welcomes the twenty competitors to the tournament, with Cooper overseeing the security of the game and the prize money, and watching for any cheaters, whom are summarily thrown overboard when discovered. Eventually, only four players are left, Maverick, Bransford, Angel, and the Commodore. During the break before the final round, Maverick and Bransford have a tryst in his quarters. After Bransford leaves, Maverick finds he has been locked in as to attempt to make him forfeit the game, but manages to climb outside the steamer to make the game on time. Bransford is eliminated early, and as the match comes down to Maverick and Angel, Maverick notices the dealer dealing from the bottom of the deck. He calls this out, and with Angel and the Commodore all-in with strong hands, Maverick is able to pull one card to complete his royal flush. Angel and his men try to shoot and kill Maverick, but Cooper and Maverick shoot first, killing them.

During the closing ceremony to give Maverick his winnings, Cooper says he will keep the money for himself and escapes. Later that night, the Commodore secrets meets with Cooper, telling him how the plan almost backfired, when Maverick appears, having tracked them here, and takes back his prize money. Some time later, Maverick is relaxing in a hot bath when Cooper finds him, revealing that Maverick is Cooper’s son, and the two had planned this windfall long in advanced. As both men enjoy the baths, Bransford arrives, having discovered the father-son relationship from earlier trysts, and walks away with the bag containing the prize money. After she leaves, Maverick reveals to Cooper that he allowed Bransford to take the money uncontested, since he took Cooper’s advice and kept half the prize money in his boots. Maverick admits it will be fun retrieving the rest of the funds.


This film is excellent. I fun, funny, actiony, and all the performances are tight. The second half tends to be a bit better, but a slower build never hurt anybody and it really allows the characters to be set up nicely. Strong recommend.

What’s Up Next?:

Following this bonus episode, we’re rewatching the films of comedy troop Broken Lizard, on the road to the release of their new film “Super Troopers 2” due out on April 20th.
This rewatch includes-
Puddle Cruiser
Super Troopers
Club Dread
The Slammn’ Salmon
Super Troopers 2

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