Luther: The Fallen Sun (2023)

Luther: The Fallen Sun
Director: Jamie Payne
Writer: Neil Cross
Sequel to: the TV series
Cast: Idris Elba, Cynthia Erivo, Andy Serkis, Dermot Crowley, Thomas Coombes, Hattie Morahan, Lauryn Ajufo, Vincent Regan
Seen on: 25.3.2023

Ex-DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) has finally been arrested and convicted for his, let’s say unorthodox, methods and involvement with suspects in his cases. Just as he is looking for a missing young man, his career is ended and he is put in prison. What’s worse, the person who took the missing man manages to send him a sound recording of him dying to prison. Luther knows that this can only mean something big is coming – and he needs to be out there to hunt the killer instead of in prison. Never one to hesitate about breaking the rules, he works on his prison break while trying to solve the case.

I’m not much of a crime person, but Luther is a series I very much love. And The Fallen Sun is an excellent bonus episode and return to the character and show. I don’t know if it would work on its own if you haven’t seen the show (I think it could), but it worked pretty well for me.

The film poster showing Luther (Idris Elba) stnading on a roof, overlooking the London skyline.

Luther is very much the Idris Elba show (especially since Alice is no longer in the picture – and what a loss that was). I really cannot imagine anybody else playing Luther and it working so well. But with Elba’s presence and the way nobody ever pretends that Luther is on a righteous crusade – everybody inside and outside the narrative knows that what he does is completely fucked-up, and that includes Luther himself – Luther is an almost addictive character, endlessly watchable and engaging.

It’s also refreshing to have a detective show where the detective is actually the most interesting person and not just a backdrop for the villain of the week. Although one can’t say that Andy Serkis’ villain here is boring by any means. Maybe a tad tropey and blown too much out of proportion with his evil plans, but Serkis is still an excellent choice for the role who makes it work. Generally, the film tries to be bigger than the series – an effort that may be not have been quite necessary, but it’s also not bad.

Luther (Idris Elba) in the middle of a prison riot.

Luther is caught between the killer and the police, spearheaded by Odette Raine (an excellent Cynthia Erivo) and Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley in a warm return to his old role). I loved that Raine calls Luther out on his narcissistic belief that he alone can catch the killer, that nobody is as good as him. (The film, alas, does prove him right to a certain extent.)

The Fallen Sun takes Luther into a bit of a new direction while keeping the aesthetics and sensibilities of the show. Whether this new direction can reach the heights of the Alice-seasons remains to be seen. The Fallen Sun isn’t quite there yet, but it is promising. And no matter in what way, whenever Elba plays Luther, I will be there.

Luther (Idris Elba) standing on Piccadilly Square, making a calming gesture, a look of panic on his face.

Summarizing: well done.

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