Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: Brilliant but disgraced detective John Luther breaks out of prison to hunt down a sadistic serial killer who is terrorising London.
Review: I don’t know what it is but there’s just something about British crime dramas/thrillers that always seem to be next level. This particular one comes from the Neil Cross-created television series Luther that ran for five seasons and starred none other than Idris Elba as Detective Chief Inspector (DCI) John Luther, a cop who has no problem crossing the line of the law if it means he can solve the case or save a life.
Out of that award winning psychological crime thriller came this feature film, Luther: The Fallen Sun, which follows the now disgraced and imprisoned Luther as he tries to stop a rich and powerful serial killer, David Robey (Andy Serkis of Lord of the Rings and King Kong), whose crimes have thrown the entire city of London into a state of fear and panic.
Visually, there’s definitely a larger look and feel to The Fallen Sun that sets it apart from the television show. With scenes taking place not just in London but also in Norway and large-scale set pieces in locations like Piccadilly Square, you can tell they wanted to set the tone that this was meant to be the biggest case Luther has ever had to contend with. Andy Serkis chews the scenery up as the morally bent killer who has no care about who he does damage to, and Idris Elba easily falls back into one of his most memorable roles.
Unfortunately, and as a big fan of the series it pains me to say this, The Fallen Sun has not much else to offer beyond its looks. The key elements that made the series so enticing, that of a slow burn blended with a compelling mystery, are missing here as the story opens with little to no build-up and instead hits the ground running by revealing Serkis’ character in the first few minutes and then quickly rushing through Luther’s downfall. We never get a real sense of why this man is the way he is or what drives him beyond some weak exposition here and there. And while Serkis is perfectly detestable in the role, he ends up coming across more like a Bond villain than the Moriarty-esque enemy I was hoping for. I’m sure fans of the series were doing the exact same thing I was — comparing him to the show’s most enigmatic villainess Alice Morgan who was played to perfection by Ruth Wilson. Alice was leaps and bounds a better antagonist for Luther and I wished like hell they could’ve found a way to bring her back for this. Instead, what we got was just another forgettable bad guy.
As a whole the entire movie felt rushed for some reason and it was only in the quieter moments of the film that we would see any signs of the brilliance that made Luther such an amazing series. I can’t believe I’m about to say this but the best way I can describe this is that it felt like an Americanised version of what Luther is supposed to be.
(SPOILER ALERT) There is hope on the horizon though as the final scene leaves things open for a Luther who just might be fighting more monsters such as these in the future, maybe even on a more global scale. Fans can only hope that while aiming for a bigger story, they don’t forget the core elements that made us want to watch this character in the first place. (SPOILER ALERT ENDS).
Score: 6.5 out of 10
Are you a fan of Luther? What did you think of The Fallen Sun? And you can check out more crime thriller content below:
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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