Time: 129 Minutes
Age Rating: R16 – Violence, cruelty & offensive language
Idris Elba as John Luther
Cynthia Erivo as DCI Odette Raine
Dermot Crowley as Martin Schenk
Andy Serkis as David Robey
Director: Jamie Payne
A serial killer terrorizes London while disgraced detective John Luther sits behind bars. Haunted by his failure to capture the cyber psychopath who now taunts him, Luther decides to break out of prison to finish the job by any means necessary.
I watched the tv series Luther starring Idris Elba, a dark and gritty detective show about a police detective who solves crimes (usually serial killers). I really liked it and I was disappointed when it was cancelled, especially after its cliff-hanger ending. So I was intrigued when it turned out that it was getting a sequel in the form of a Netflix movie. While it doesn’t reach the heights of the series, I still liked The Fallen Sun.
Neil Cross, creator of the Luther show, returns to write the script for the movie. The story and writing are fine. The biggest question that some will have is whether people can watch the movie if they haven’t seen the series. And the answer is yes, there are only two characters who return from the series, and the story doesn’t require you to know the events of the show beforehand. At the end of the tv series, Luther is arrested and while that’s how the movie starts, there are some retcons surrounding that aspect to link it with the movie’s story. Overall, I found The Fallen Sun to be entertaining, it works as an isolated crime thriller, and is very dark and unsettling, much like the show. People who watched the show probably know that it started out grounded but became silly in the later seasons, and the movie is definitely on the far-fetched side of things. It can get outlandishly silly at times, mainly with how absurdly powerful and well connected the villain is. The movie moves at a fast pace despite the long runtime, but in some ways it feels like a season of Luther crammed into a 2 hour long movie, and some aspects like the villain don’t get enough build up. It might’ve worked better as a tv mini series.
The acting is pretty good. Idris Elba as usual is great as John Luther and slips back into arguably his most iconic role with ease. He has a strong screen presence which elevates every scene he’s in. The rest of the cast is pretty good, including Cynthia Erivo. It was also great to see Dermot Crowley reprise his role as ex DSI Martin Schenk, it was good that they were able to bring back at least one of the supporting characters from the show. Andy Serkis however is the standout as the main villain and serial killer. The character is over the top and absurd (down to even his hair) but is depraved and dark. Serkis is fantastic and clearly having fun chewing up the scenery. This part is only relevant to those who watched the series, but Alice Morgan played by Ruth Wilson doesn’t appear in the movie. Considering the end of the show, it makes sense why she’s not here. Still, it doesn’t feel the same without her.
Jamie Payne directs the movie, his work here is fine. It does well to translate the Luther show to a movie and gives it a more cinematic feeling, despite looking like a Netflix movie. There are some good and memorable sequences, if over the top.
Luther: The Fallen Sun is not one of the best stories in the Luther series but I still really liked it. The story was intriguing enough and the performances were great, especially Elba and Serkis. If you liked the show, I think you’ll find some enjoyment in the movie. If you haven’t seen the show, I think you’ll find a decent enough crime thriller.