Luther: The Fallen Sun Review: Idris Elba Hunts A Resourceful Serial Killer
/Film 2hrs ago

"Luther," the British crime series that saw Idris Elba as a rule-bending detective tracking down gruesome serial killers, jumps into the movies with "Luther: The Fallen Sun." The film plays out like a feature-length version of the series, but don't worry — even if you've never watched a single episode of "Luther," the film gives you pretty much all the info you need from the start. We learn that Elba's Detective Chief Inspector John Luther is a cop who gets results. We also learn that he frequently gets those results by bending rules and even breaking laws. He's like the U.K.'s version of "Dirty Harry," sort of. 

At the start of the film, Luther catches the eye of David Robey (Andy Serkis, sporting one hell of a hairdo), a resourceful tech billionaire and serial killer who seems to be so wealthy and powerful that he can practically do whatever he wants, including staging ultra elaborate crime scenes. He feels more like a Batman villain than someone grounded in the real world, and Luther himself starts to feel like the Caped Crusader — something the film even leans into by having an establishing shot of Luther standing on top of a skyscraper, looking out at the city below. With his ever-present trench coat, Luther even has a trademark costume like Batman. 

As "The Fallen Sun" starts, Luther has caught the attention of Robey, who then uses his network of blackmail and tech to make sure all of Luther's dirty secrets come to light. And that's the thing — Luther isn't being framed here. He really is a corrupt cop. Sure, he catches serial killers, but he also breaks laws in order to get his job done. And that's a big no-no (at least in the world of this movie, unlike the real world, where cops can seemingly break whatever laws they want at all times). As a result, Luther loses his job and gets locked up in prison. And that means the evil David Robey is free to keep doing his dirty deeds without Luther's interference. Or so the villain thinks. But Luther isn't down for the count just yet. 

Darkness And A Bleak Atmosphere

Luther isn't just going to sit back and let a serial killer run wild. That means he's going to have to bust out of prison and save the day. Meanwhile, DCI Odette Raine (Cynthia Erivo) is also on the case, and she doesn't appreciate the incarcerated (and soon-to-be-not-incarcerated) Luther butting in on her work. At least at first. But even Odette has to admit Luther is the best at what he does, and that's all part of the fantasy world this film exists in. Sure, Luther is a wildly corrupt cop! But he's also a hero, damn it! Which means all his crimes should be forgiven as long as he gets his man.

This isn't unique to "Luther." The "corrupt cop who saves the day anyway" is a well-worn trope in police-based stories, but in this era, it feels especially wrong-headed. No matter: I doubt anyone is watching "Luther: The Fallen Sun" for realism or social commentary. They just want to see Idris Elba catch criminals while looking very handsome, and on that front, "The Fallen Sun" delivers. It also delivers on darkness and a bleak atmosphere that will be oppressive to anyone unfamiliar with the series.

Elba is his usual dependable self — the man oozes charisma, even when threatening people with violence. And Serkis is clearly having fun playing such a repulsive bad guy; the type of villain we can't wait to see get his comeuppance. This all results in a sturdy little thriller that runs a little long but mostly gives you what you want. Fans of the show will likely enjoy seeing Elba play this role yet again, but just how many more adventures can Luther have at this point? How many rules can he break and still walk away clean? Perhaps I'm overthinking this. Perhaps none of that matters as long as there are creepy supervillains out there, waiting for John Luther to come take them down.

/Film Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Read this next: The 15 Best Horror TV Shows Of All Time

Show More
Latest News