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Overall Rating

Awesome: 14.29%
Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 4.76%
Pretty Bad: 4.76%
Total Crap76.19%

1 review, 15 user ratings

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by Chris Parry

"Fat lumbering slob takes on stupid lumbering bad guys who drive dune buggys"
1 stars

Holy crap, this is perhaps the most poorly conceived vehicle for an actor since Saved By The Bell’s Screech starred in Man-Whore: Life in the Toilet Block. Joe Don Baker, who had made a reasonable splash as Sheriff Buford Pusser in Walking Tall, suddenly found himself being offered leading man action roles left and right. He grabbed as many as he could while the going was good, but unfortunately for him one of those as Mitchell, a cop film that’s so silly you’d swear it was a tax write-off.

Joe Don is a hard smoking, hard drinking, pizza eating, TV watching cop. When the bad guys send over a whore (Linda Evans) to try to bribe him, he doesn’t send her away – he screws her. Then he screws her again. Then he makes her fall for him so he can screw her all the time for free. Then he beats a bad guy’s head in with a rock.

Ah, the 70’s. A time when an action hero could get away with a beret and plaid pants. An era where screwing prostitutes made you a good guy. A period of our history where cops cared about Miranda rights as much as they cared about supply chain management and finding a good wheatgrass recipe.

Joe Don Baker is a big goombah of a guy. For most of his life he’s played the hulking slob, the giant with a heart of gold, or the Babe Ruth-like jolly drinker (he played The Slammer in The Natural). He’s been around for years, in movies as good as Reality Bits, The Living Daylights, Cape Fear and Fletch, while also giving us such cinematic low points as Congo, Leonard Part 6 and Joe Dirt. But no matter what his life amounts to, on his dying day people will say “Mitchell is dead.”

They won’t really, since most people have never heard about the film and would probably prefer to gut their children than sit through it twice, but give me a break, I can’t be nasty to every film I review, can I?

[Editor’s note: Yes, you can.]

Righto then, Mitchell is really bad. It’s inane crap. The storyline is that Mitchell, who is liked by nobody, not even other cops, is sent out to investigate a shooting at a bad guy’s house (John Saxon). The bad guy claims he shot a Mexican intruder (who looked black to me) because he went for a gun. Mitchell soon learns that the only gun in the house that was loaded was the bad guy's gun - and that maybe his story doesn't wash.

But oh no, the Chief (Robert Phillips) is pulling him off the case. “Nobody likes you, Mitchell…” Now the big guy has to follow another bad guy (Martin Balsam) and wait for him to break the law. Since he never does, the two end up doing lunch. Which is odd, since the bad guy tells Mitchell that nobody likes him. Again.

In fact, everyone seems to tell Mitchell how much nobody likes him an awful lot. They even included a line about how nobody likes him in the theme song to the film, just in case we weren’t aware that nobody likes him.

Fast forward to a double cross, some more whoring, John Saxon looking evil, and a finale so ridiculous that it will cause milk to emit from your nose, and you’ve got a pretty ordinary entry into the annals of cinematic history. Written by former Baretta and The Sweeney TV scribe Ian Kennedy Martin, you have to wonder how much of what was in the script ended up on screen. Is Martin a hack that got lucky in TV or a good writer who would prefer that nobody knew he was involved in this guff?

Abysmal stuff all around. Joe Don Baker’s action career ended right about here. And after watching Mitchell, you’ll be surprised he was left with any career at all. How bad is it exactly? They did a Mystery Science Theater episode on it, so you do the math.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 11/28/02 10:17:06
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User Comments

8/09/12 mr.mike I'd watch Joe Don reading the phone book. Not! 3 stars
8/01/06 Sugarfoot So bad it's utterly hilarious...Baker turned down Walking Tall 2 for this? 1 stars
6/03/05 Indrid Cold MST3K is what makes this atrocious piece of shit watchable. 1 stars
12/06/03 Jesse Joe Don Baker — Official spokesman for Slobs For America! 5 stars
11/15/03 michael mother of god, this is the coolest movie ever made, cinamatic masterpiece 5 stars
9/30/03 George Moyer "Mitchell hearts pounding, Mitchell veins cloggin', MITCHELL!" This MST is pure gold! 5 stars
8/22/03 Kevin Mitchel wasn't bad for a C graded movie. It was very entertaining while being very shitty. 1 stars
6/18/03 Jack Bourbon Hated MST3(shut up!), loved JD Baker (but - points for fake accent) Not as bad as Magnolia 1 stars
2/18/03 taj Any movie that makes me laugh this much deserves 2 stars, period. 2 stars
1/28/03 Mr Math This thing is hilariously bad. Anyone who thinks making a movie is easy should watch this. 1 stars
1/18/03 Jerry This movie is boring and pointless; MST3K only. 1 stars
11/28/02 Buddha So bad I can't even stand it. MST3K clipped some hilarious scenes. 1 stars
11/26/02 Charles Tatum Mmmmmmmitchell! 1 stars
7/12/02 Edfink Lombardo Incomprehensibly terrible. Joe Don Baker is hysterically bad and unconvincing. 1 stars
6/19/02 Film Dude Much, much worse then Final Justice. 1 stars
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  02-Mar-1975 (R)



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