Luther is set in London, England, The film is based on a BBC television series, about an emotionally charged detective, of the same name, which started back in 2010, This is a launching pad for Elba and his fantastic career. The series was created by Neil Cross and so the film is the continuation of that series. It’s a great detective show and I have no reason to say the film isn’t as equally great!
A woman named Corrine Aldrich reports that her son Callum Aldrich has been kidnapped. John Luther (Idris Elba) says he will find him, but before he does he has been set up by a criminal mastermind. A cyber psychopath David Robey (Andy Serkis) who wears a blonde wig or hairpiece Luther is in prison while all these heinous acts are being committed on the outside. Odette Raine (Cynthia Erivo) is now in charge of the case. There was a fire in the prison causing a riot Luther barely survived, but escapes in the process with the help of a friend on the outside. He’s motivated by what happened on the outside to investigate this case on his own.
Using a radio scanner, and advice from retired DSI Martin Shenk (Dermott Crowley) , an old friend and boss of Luther’s, he tries to figure out what is going on. Nobodies off limits though and there are many different directions this case goes in. Finally he gets help from the person who wouldn’t help him in the first place. These two actually make a good team. They both are motivated to stop this crazy man. So their alliance makes sense. They are more alike than they think once they’re on the same team.
Luther is a gritty show that creator and writer Neil Cross takes that gritty nature and ramps it up for this feature length film about this man who seeks revenge for the wrongdoing he has been dealt, along side director Jamie Payne. Detective shows of the past seem like an influence on this character. And Elba runs with everything he is given in the script as this character. He’s played him a bunch but it seems like a fresh take on the character to me.
With a film budget I’m sure Cross was allowed to do more action sequences and set pieces. It sure looks like it to me. The fire prison alone was pretty crazy and using London as a backdrop makes for great chase sequences. There is an undercurrent of the James Bond films in this Installment of Luther. Even a bar scene was pretty funny because I swore he was going to ask for his matinee shaken not stirred but he asked for a fizzy water instead. I wonder though, was this an audition for Bond for Elba?
As far as villains go Setkis plays a good one. He is menacing and creepy all at once. He even speaks a foreign language which is spoken with subtitles. I think it’s Eastern European. So that may play into the evil that he is portraying. The producers might be capitalizing on tensions in Europe right now. Serkis exudes an evil presence as this character. Without spoiling anything he did something to his own wife which was pretty bad. He was perfectly cast though in this film.
Luther: The Fallen Sun brings everything fans of this IP liked from the television series and builds on it for this stand alone film. It has great performances from Cynthia Erivo as this detective thrown into the fire of this crazy case. Andy Serkis as the killer who likes making his punishments most personal. Elba has proven he’s great as this character and he brings everything back to the forefront in this film. This movie is a thrill ride and has some terrific action set pieces and keeps viewers engaged throughout. It’s a good addition to this series. Neil Cross and Jamie Payne brought this character and series to a new level in the film.
Luther:The Fallen Sun can be seen on Netflix March 10th
3 ½ stars
Dan Skip Allen