Joe Don Baker IS Mitchell; a fat, drunken, lazy slob of a detective who’s trying to bust the slimy John Saxon for shooting an unarmed burglar. When Mitchell ruffles his feathers a bit too much, his captain reassigns him to stakeout heroin kingpin Martin Balsam’s house. Saxon arranges for a high class hooker (Linda Evans) to sleep with Mitchell as a “bribe” but since she isn’t beer, he arrests her. Things come to a head when Balsam tries to have Mitchell killed by some other Mafioso types. Mitchell doesn’t like that one bit so he hops in a helicopter and finds Martin on his boat and decides to give his lungs a new picture window using an assault rifle.
Before I start this review, allow me to do some damage control. Look, my name is in fact, Mitchell and I just want to say that Joe Don Baker’s performance as A Mitchell in no way, shape, or form is representative of the millions of other Mitchells living somewhere in the world. This particular Mitchell is pretty much a big, fat, stupid, drunken idiot and by association, you may think that all of us Mitchells are just like him. I for example, am a little on the thin side, have some degree of intelligence and only on rare occasions drink alcohol. If you do see the movie Mitchell, please do not stereotype me or the countless other Mitchells out there who are generally good and decent people. Thank you.
Now that I got that off my chest, allow me to review the movie. It sucks. Sure, there are like one or two decent action scenes and Linda Evens looks hot, but c’mon! Were we really supposed to buy Joe Don Baker as an action hero? When you think of the term “action hero”, Joe Don is about the 781st name you would think of. (Right in between Jerry Lewis and John Ratzenberger.) The fact that he spends a lot of the movie sleeping should be an indicator of just how lackluster he is.
Director Andrew V. McLaglen also did a bunch of John Wayne movies so he at least knows how to keep the plot moving at a steady clip. If you’re a big John Saxon fan, you may get a kick out of his turn as the oily villain. The Hoyt Axton theme song is also pretty memorable so the flick isn’t a complete washout. Unfortunately without an appealing leading man, Mitchell flounders.