LUTHER: THE FALLEN SUN (NETFLIX) (2023)
SYNOPSIS: In Luther: The Fallen Sun — an epic continuation of the award-winning television saga reimagined for film — a gruesome serial killer is terrorizing London while brilliant but disgraced detective John Luther (Idris Elba) sits behind bars. Haunted by his failure to capture the cyber psychopath who now taunts him, Luther decides to break out of prison to finish the job by any means necessary.
Idris Elba reprises his role as DCI John Luther in this first feature-length continuation of his successful BBC series, Luther. Elba is charismatic and reliable as always. The man basically can read the daily evening news and still get a standing ovation.
In The Fallen Sun, Luther is being conveniently framed by a serial killer and sent to prison as the latter is worried that Luther’s investigations will hinder in his killings. Besides Elba, Andy Serkis and his ridiculously looking hairpiece plays the maniac, David Robey. This is not much of a spoiler to begin with since his character is shown right in the beginning as the culprit.
Back at the “shop” aka crime unit, DCI Odette (Cynthia Erivo) took over the seat of Luther’s ex-boss, Schenk (Dermot Crowley) and ordered that Luther be captured after attempting a prison break. When Luther manages to intercept a recording of Robey’s murder, Odette decides to make use of Luther to lure out Robey in the busy Piccadilly Circus. But Robey has more evil plans of his own- to unleash more of his sick killings.
It’s not a necessity to catch up on the past five seasons before watching The Fallen Sun as creator Neil Cross and TV director Jamie Payne has deliver a worthy stand-alone movie experience. With a higher budget, the crime thriller boasts excellent cinematography, on-location shootings and impressive production values strictly on par with a typical James Bond outing.
Cross’s story touches on the dark deceptive world of the internet. A seemingly honest looking man might harbour some dark secrets that are concealed from the world and his love ones which results in Robey’s blackmailing and controlling of their actions. However instead of a clever psychological thriller, Cross quickly turns this into a mindless cat-and-mouse chase around London and icy Norway or Iceland in this case although we must admit most of the proceedings indeed kept us on the edge of our seats.
Serkis is probably short-change by the script as there isn’t much development or backstory on the sadistic Robey except his crazy desire to attract the attention of the sick. That leaves us with Elba who of course is a magnet on the screen with his haunting gaze and melodic deep rich voice.
If you can look past the countless loopholes and illogical happenings, you are going to enjoy this low-key version of James Bond. The Fallen Sun is honestly a forgettable Luther outing except proving Idris Elba still has what it takes to play the martini loving superspy. The Broccolis and MGM should really consider handing over the keys to him.
Review by Linus Tee