I know when people hear Idris Elba most go right to Stringer Bell from HBO’s classic series The Wire as his highlight moment. Those people like haven’t caught the best non-Sherlock BBC detective series, Luther. DCI John Luther is swaggeringly cool, deadly affective, and doesn’t take crap from anyone…he’s everything a good TV/Film detective should be, save for one key aspect.
When we catch up with DCI Luther in Luther: The Fallen Sun he is currently right where we left him at the end of the tv series, residing on the wrong side of the bars. His crime? Essentially being the coolest detective on the block, you see the things we’ve been conditioned to think of as the makings of a good detective, ala Martin Riggs, are actually highly illegal. Witness intimidation and breaking and entering are among the charges against our hero, but don’t worry we find out almost immediately that his current state is the result of a genius engineered long game by the film’s villain, serial killer David Robey (the amazing Andy Serkis). It isn’t long before Luther is sprung and on the hunt to find out the endgame of this beautifully coifed mad man.
I adore London in film. I truly do, if you want to sell me a ticket just make sure I know that you’ve taken care of the King’s domain and I am in. It doesn’t even matter what light you paint her in, lovely cultured metropolis ala Closer? Perfect! Dirty urban crime sprawl like Snatch? Just as good. This is where Luther: The Fallen Sun first hooked me, the most beautiful aerial shots of Jolly ole’ fill the screen from start to finish and director Jamie Payne goes to painstaking lengths to make sure all sides of city are shown through a loving frame.
Fans of the TV series will be in for a treat as the film is, in every way, a true encore of the series it’s spun off from. There isn’t much about this that feels different from binging a few episodes other then there not being opening/closing credits spaced in between. Is that a bad thing? How could it be? Giving the people what they expect should never be considered less then, there’s no rule saying something on the big screen MUST be bigger and better, honestly I think that’s where most attempts at this go wrong, so good for them resisting the temptation. It goes without saying but Idris Elba effortlessly falls back into the character as if he hasn’t missed a day on set. I absolutely love that someone who has risen so high in the Hollywood elite since he originally started this series is willing to return and continue to give it his all. A true show that Elba respects the craft and not the fame.
I’m sure some will poo poo Serkis’s over the top serial killer as nothing more then a Moriarty knock off with a bit more style. I can see that angle if I squint but that’s not how it is with 20/20 vision. Serkis’s Robey is a compressed spring waiting to pop and when he does the result is gory, grotesque and brutal. While you never really feel he’s a danger to Luther himself, he certainly makes you worry for just about every other citizen of foggy Londontown.
Like I said, Luther: The Fallen Sun is more of the same but that’s a good thing! Fans of the series, especially those who felt short changed by the depressing end they got previously will enjoy seeing everyone’s favorite tall dark and handsome DCI get another bite at the apple. Luther: The Fallen Sun is out now in select theaters and hits Netflix on March 10th!