Luther: The Fallen Sun Movie Review – A Gripping Detective Thriller Starring Idris Elba
Luther began as a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Columbo, but it wasn’t long before Idris Elba’s London-based police detective was compared to James Bond. Over the course of five seasons and nine years, DCI John Luther faced murderous psychopaths, outmanoeuvred a mob of armed gangsters while tied to a chair, and dispatched would-be assassins with nothing more than a dustbin. It seems only fitting that his heroic exploits are finally given their due on the big screen.
Luther: The Fallen Sun picks up shortly after the events of the fifth season of Luther, which debuted in 2019. Underdeveloped bad guy David Robey (Andy Serkis) isn’t a fan and exposes Luther’s long history as a vigilante cop who “felt entitled to take justice into his own hands,” sending him to prison. He is not imprisoned for long, however. From there, The Fallen Sun takes viewers on a tense, twisted game of cat and mouse as Luther attempts to stop smarmy tech bro Robey’s dark online games while avoiding the formidable police inspector Odette Raine (Cynthia Erivo).
Luther is described early in the film as a “analogue” person living in an increasingly digital world, and there are nods to his antiquated methods throughout The Fallen Sun. Later, there’s a speech about how much of themselves people are willing to share online, but it stops short of going full Black Mirror. This concept of an outdated hero returning for one last hurrah isn’t exactly novel, but Luther has never been a revolutionary show. It has, however, always been aware of the various tropes with which it plays. This big-screen adventure is equally as astute, slyly nodding to the London-based Bond film Skyfall.
If Luther is coming to an end, The Fallen Sun is the perfect send-off. It’s surprisingly grounded given the jump from TV (a Dover ferry is about as exotic as it gets), but it’s always ambitious enough to justify the two-hour runtime. If you’re unfamiliar with the detective’s exploits, this is a great place to start. Only former police inspector Martin Schenk (Dermot Crowley) returns from previous episodes, and it’s clear that Luther is a passionate, brilliant cop with a troubled past. The Fallen Sun, like the rest of the series, is about bloody murder as well as morals and psychological thrills. Despite losing almost everyone he cares about, Luther remains a man who believes he can make a difference. That lack of cynicism makes for a compelling watch, with Elba delivering a gripping and emotional performance. This is his No Time To Die, a grim and gritty but hugely entertaining final fling. Who cares if Elba never gets the Bond role – in a way, he already has.
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