Poitier's third (and final) appearance as Lt Virgil Tibbs, now risen beyond the good black cop idea to regular good cop, with all the hagiography this implies (good looks, boyish charm, nice wife, happy kids; against him the villains are unpleasant, faceless, childless, ruthless). The organization is a world-wide heroin combine operating behind the façade of big business. None too convincing (since the film is torn between the need to make them ridiculous and the need to have us rooting for them) is the group of good-hearted liberals who, distressed by the fuzz's lack of action, decide to take on the organization themselves. Tibbs, needless to say, does an exemplary job. In spite of everything, the climactic action sequences are genuinely intriguing and totally involving.
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