THE PLAYERS Mel Gibson - Bret Maverick Jodie Foster - Annabelle Branford James Garner - Zane Cooper Graham Greene - Joseph James Coburn - Commodore also rans: Denver Pyle, Clint Black, Corey Feldman, Danny Glover, Waylon Jennings, Vince Gill
Not everyone liked this release but I thoroughly enjoyed the playful interaction between the stars of this remake of the old TV series. Tho missing a few players from the TV series, I liked the role of Annabelle and Cooper and liked the way Annabelle and Bret fought with, against and for each other.
Bret and Annabelle meet up and both have their eyes on a high stakes poker game, played on the old gambling boat. Reminiscent of The Sting Bret and Annabelle set into action a few double and triple crosses and set about amassing their ante needed for the game. It seems everyone concerned in this movie is somehow involved in a little under the table cash, including church ladies, Cooper the local sheriff and an entire tribe of Indians.
With their eyes on the big bucks, Maverick, Annabelle and Cooper run into just about every possible stop ground but throw their creative hats into the ring and give their all to their roles. Garner, the original Maverick on TV, camps his way across the screen and you often catch a glimpse of the cute and quirky guy he played then. Foster, cute and fiesty, throws her charms and looks into the foray and Gibson just muddles through on pure good looks and bull, and as in the series, constantly quotes his wise old pappy!
Eventually all three meet up again aboard the gambling boat, captained by Coburn. Stakes are pricey and rules are simple - you play until you lose. When two players are left, they play against each other, winner takes all. Annabelle and Maverick are the players - Cooper the law enforcement. Naturally the entire gig is rigged and Cooper makes off with the money, later meeting up with the Commodore and splitting his share.
We cut to another town and find Cooper and Maverick, cigars in mouth - drinks in hand, soaking happily in tubs full of soapsuds. Turns out Cooper is Maverick's wise old pappy' and part of the scheme from the beginning. Surprise, surprise - in strolls Annabelle - just a little hot under the collar and gun in hand. She makes off with the money and another race is on!
Gibson plays this role so wholeheartedly you believe he is really having a good time as the womanizing and inept Bret Maverick. Foster, however, is a little out of her element here since she usually plays a much stronger woman, less frivolous and fluffy, still gives a darn cute performance. Garner as usual comes across as just the guy he is - self serving, shallow, self centered, a perfect role for him!