Luther: The Fallen Sun Movie Review
Luther: The Fallen Sun Movie Review Metadata
The BBC police procedural thriller, Luther (2010- 2019) is just being introduced to American audiences via Hulu. If you’d like to catch up before settling in for the two-hour movie, you’ve got 231 episodes over five seasons to wade through, but I don’t think that’s necessary. Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023) draws on its healthy pedigree of broken detectives and the psychotic murders they love to pursue, and it feels familiar enough that going in cold isn’t completely misguided. DCI (that’s Detective Chief Inspector if you’re unsure of the lingo) John Luther (Idris Elba) is the jumbo-sized version of broken detectives landing squarely in the alignment of Chaotic Good – doing the right thing, even if it means killing everyone even remotely involved. He’s very good at his job, if massively destructive, and this is a problem for the Killer du Jour, Robey (Andy Serkis). Using John’s own digital footprint and some ill-gotten information, all of Luther’s dirty laundry, as well as less-than-above-board methodology, is brought to light. He is stripped of his badge, tried and convicted of various crimes, and thrown into prison.
The new Head Butt in Chair is DCI Odessa Raines (Cynthia Erivo), who is simply disgusted by the mess John has left and is still dealing with his caseload. Compounding her problem is John’s escape from prison since he’s convinced only he can solve the horrific kidnappings and murders. Using his connections to evade police, stay apprised of the case, and maintain his link to critical information, John Luther once again puts it all on the line to stop a dangerous man once and for all.
Luther: The Fallen Sun focuses on technology as a means of both blackmail and ruin. Robey is convinced (and proven right on a number of occasions) that everyone has a deep dark secret they do not want anyone knowing. Often that secret is minor compared to say, drowning a sack of kittens, but to the individual it is so shameful, they will do anything to keep it from loved ones. This is the leverage Robey has over his cultish followers and victims, while he builds a digital Red Room, a website of torture and terror to be broadcast to subscribers all over the world.
As Luther: The Fallen Sun is essentially an extended version of an episode, there is very little in the way of backstory, so characters will fade in and out. Relationships are already established so if you’re going in completely blind there won’t be much in the way of insight. Some interactions, you will just have to accept as fan service and canon, and it shouldn’t get in the way of your enjoyment. Idris Elba slips into a role he played for five seasons. Luther is very earnest, driven, and haunted. He’s not ashamed of the things he’s done, only that they brought down an entire department. New kid on the block, Cynthia Erivo assumes the role of Black Woman in Charge. She’s tough and uncompromising, but there’s not a lot of room for nuance. It’s a little too cookie-cutter of a role that would be better fleshed out over a three-episode arc. Dermot Crowley also returns as retired DCU Martin Shrek who has always acted as a moral anchor and paternal figure. Working as a liaison between the police and Luther, his is the only voice John Luther may hear.
As a general rule, I have a problem with the brilliant serial killer taunting the brilliant detective trope since it never works out well. I knows there are narcissists who thrive on the thrill of being someone’s entire raison d’être, but it’s been a very long time since it worked out in the killer’s favor. You’d think movie murderers would learn this very crucial lesson. It would save lives. Andy Serkis is the cold and calculating David Robey, inserting cruelty and attention for love and loyalty. His plan is years in the making, complicating his identification and capture.
Luther: Fallen Sun is very gritty and definitely a Bad Things Happen in The Big City kind of movie. Lots of screaming, torture, shooting, and fighting, so if you don’t have the stomach for it, maybe hang back and catch a Murder She Wrote rerun. Already playing in select theaters, Luther: The Fallen Sun arrives on Netflix March 10, 2023.
Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023) is theatrically Rated R for swears, people getting tortured, set aflame, beaten up and shot, people jumping from buildings, being hanged, kidnapped, and run over by cars. See? Gritty.