Mel Gibson slips effortlessly into the role of Bret Maverick, the Western gambler who prefers to talk rather than shoot his way out of trouble.

His ready smile and slick way with words are smoothly complemented by thief Jodie Foster and marshal James Garner (the star of the original TV series who just about steals the movie here).

The playful, joke-filled storyline sees the trio making an eventful journey towards James Coburn’s riverboat poker tournament.

A passing appearance by Danny Glover makes for one of the film’s funniest scenes, Alfred Molina hams it up as the villain and it’s a priceless moment when the bevy of other professional gamblers turn out to include such old-time TV Western faces as Doug (The Virginian) McClure and Henry (The High Chaparral) Darrow.