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Luther: The Fallen Sun

Luther: The Fallen Sun

Idris Elba is back as the grizzled London detective in a Netflix movie that hasn't exactly impressed us.

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The BBC has offered countless great police dramas over the years, but few have lasted as long and featured the star power of that of Luther. Revolving around Idris Elba's grizzled London-based detective, the show centres around Luther following the traces and hunting down vicious and spine-chilling serial killers, all while having to navigate the rights and wrongs of operating within the law. However, with these monsters having such a lack of respect for human life, Luther realises that working by the books will usually result in more deaths, and so he stretches the practices of the law to operate in a grey zone if you will.

This dynamic has always been what makes Luther such an entertaining premise, and it's precisely why Luther: The Fallen Sun struggles. Because this film is taking us away from what makes Luther, Luther. Instead we're given a character that is more akin to James Bond. Luther evades the law, gets into countless fights, sustains all manner of injuries, and then proceeds to just keep going. He doesn't feel human and real anymore: he feels like an action hero. And sure there's an intriguing case at the film's core, but it's overwhelmed by this action style that rips out the heart of Luther.

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Don't get me wrong, Elba is great here again, and Andy Serkis plays a truly harrowing serial killer - even if his motivations are highly questionable and don't lack that finer explanation and level of detail that made the series' killers so formidable and terrifying. Serkis' ability to portray a mentally unstable killer is top quality, you just never get the impression that the character is well thought out. He feels more like an old-school Bond villain, someone who is evil and cruel just for the sake of making the protagonist look good, and it's not Serkis' fault that this ended up being the case, it's the narrative and dialogue instead.

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I can't help but long for a return to the smaller, more personal narratives that made the show so engaging, as here, everything has been blown to new extremes and in that process the charm of Luther is lost. This character doesn't need to be a globe-trotting force for good, Luther was exceptional as a gritty detective who faced the reality of hunting down serial killers who leave a trail of bodies in their wake.

But while there are many areas of this film that disappointed me, none are quite as abhorrent as the use of CGI in the film. The CGI sequences are not of very good quality and detract from the viewing experience significantly. The chaotic sequence in Piccadilly Circus is the best example of this, with the madness looking like something that has come out of some daft spoof film.

Luther: The Fallen Sun

While I love Luther and appreciate that the franchise is being continued further, this direction worries me greatly, more so considering the epilogue that seems to be setting Luther up as some kind of international agent for hire. This isn't the character that I have followed for over a decade and Netflix has not got it right in Luther: The Fallen Sun.

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04 Gamereactor UK
4 / 10
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Luther: The Fallen Sun

Luther: The Fallen Sun

MOVIE REVIEW. Written by Ben Lyons

Idris Elba is back as the grizzled London detective in a Netflix movie that hasn't exactly impressed us.



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