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Reviews Comments: Thank Goodness for MST 3 K Mitchell film/book review by Filby

Mitchell is mildly entertaining and not much else. Starring Joe Don Baker in the title role as an unlikeable, unattractive, alcoholic police detective with bad people skills and worse fashion sense, Mitchell is about... well, there's something about a drug deal, and a union lawyer, and an Italian guy, and, well, I was so bored I was barely paying attention. Still, the action—a car chase, a few fistfights and gunfights—is kind of exciting, though not worth the price of admission.

As an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, though, Mitchell is elevated above its trite existence by Joel and the bots' witty riffing and is genuinely funny and entertaining. It's also the landmark final episode to be hosted by Joel, after which he was replaced by series head writer Mike Nelson as the lead actor.

On its own, Mitchell isn't worth your time, but if you're a fan of MST3K, it is a must-watch.


  • psycher7
  • 17th Jan 12
In other words, it's basically the same as a later MST 3 K film, Final Justice. Gotta love that Joe Don, with his total lack of charm, competence, screen presence, etc.
  • MrStatham1986
  • 5th Apr 12
Final Justice is basically just a Mitchell sequel in all but name. The character's the same unappealing putz as in Mitchell, the dialogue and action's kind-of similar, and overall, they just look and feel the same. The only real difference is that FJ has a much more simple plot, although Baker manages (somehow) to complicate things and take a simple revenge plot to about a hour and a half.

But both Mitchell and Final Justice are two really, really great MST 3 K episodes; They're a little different than the usual stuff the show had, but they're both classics. Joe Don Baker seemed to bring out the best in the writers and performers.
  • psycher7
  • 5th Apr 12
Oh yeah. They were both aiming for that 70's Dirty Harry cop who kicks ass and doesn't let silly little things like the Constitution get in the way. Of course, Dirty Harry has Clint Eastwood, and these two have...Joe Don Baker. I wish I was illiterate so I didn't have to write that.
  • doctrainAUM
  • 5th Apr 12
@psycher7 The most important difference is that Dirty Harry was a harsh critique of that police methodology, while this movie wants you to agree with Mitchell's actions. That one difference makes all the difference.
  • psycher7
  • 5th Apr 12
That, too. Much like, say, Watchmen and any Leifeld comic. Sadly a lot of people missed the boat on both of those...Somewhere (Misaimed Fandom, maybe? wasn't Poes Law although it also applies) there was a great explanation of how it's impossible to make a truly anti-war movie. You see a similar thing happening with cop movies. The message gets lost and it becomes a celebration of the very thing it was meant to condemn.
  • Filby
  • 3rd May 12
I must say, though, Joe Don Baker was very good in Cape Fear. There, Martin Scorsese turned his gruffness and lack of charisma into important character traits rather than weaknesses. I can't imagine any other actor giving his speech about the South's history of savoring fear.

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