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After a group of young revolutionaries break into a corporation's headquarters and steal $5,000,000 worth of heroin to keep it off the street, they call on San Francisco Police Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs for assistance. Though sympathetic to their cause, the straight-arrow Tibbs refuses to consider it because they broke the law, but when the group is then accused of a murder it didn't commit, Tibbs finally joins them in order to ferret out the identity of the real killer, while keeping his now rogue undercover investigation a secret from his SFPD superiors. Written by
Marty McKee <email@example.com>
Ah, the 70's. Big guns, bigger cars and acknowledgements that *GASP!* police departments have black people too. Close on the heels of Isaac Hayes as Shaft, there was Sidney Poitier as Mister Tibbs. Both starred in a number of films based around their characters, although Poitiers tended to be slightly more realistic in nature (What with them being directly made with the assistance of the local force) and with less wanton violence.
That doesn't mean they were immune to suffering from cliché-itis, though. So you have the usual schtick where the bad guys turn out to be the good guys, endless chase sequences through crowded streets and of course... The 'pivotal' moment where Tibbs has to hand over his gun and badge due to him being suspected of corruption. It may not be the movie's fault that such scenes have been done to death over 40 years, but it is what it is.
Poitier keeps things ticking over nicely with his usual reliable screen presence, and the sparse family moments he shares with his wife and son are a nice touch... Although, too brief to really be that effective. Overall, it's an interesting look at a Gene Hunt era of law enforcement which is long since past (for better or worse) but in terms of entertainment, very, very average. 5/10
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