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Luther The Fallen Sun review: Andy Serkis’ buffoonish serial killer is the bane of this Idris Elba film

Fans of the BBC cop drama are advised to stay clear of this mess

Luther The Fallen Sun review: Andy Serkis’ buffoonish serial killer is the bane of this Idris Elba film
Idris Elba in a still from the film

Last Updated: 04.27 PM, Mar 10, 2023


Story: DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) is investigating the disappearance of a teenager Callum Aldrich , when all hell breaks loose for him on the professional front. He’s not only removed from the case, but also sent to jail for everything unlawful deed he’d used in the past to get the job (his investigations) done. As soon as Luther is out of the picture, Callum and a few others are found dead and then incinerated in the presence of their loved ones, with the killer (Andy Serkis), sending the former cop an audio recording of the youngster’s death over FM. This, of course, was just what Luther needed to orchestrate an escape during prison transfer and chase down the perpetrator of unspeakable crimes.

Review: A few years ago, when I was introduced to a British show called Luther, in all honesty, I had no clue who its leading man was. Watching DCI John Luther in his perfectly tailored suit and grey trench coat, swagger into the precinct, was love at first sight, even though the series itself began losing some of its charm after the first few seasons. Luther was just as much about the title hero, as it was about his arch nemesis, Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson). Alice maybe presumed dead, but that’s happened before and she reappeared on the series, so, the fervent hope was that any resurrection of Luther, as a series or film, would have her return too. Sadly, that’s not the case.


In a film spanning just over two hours, the makers not only had to cram in the narrative of a serial killer on the loose, but they also had to have Luther atone for all that he’s done in the past and come out a better man – hence, the short-lived prison sentence. None of this will make any sense if you have not seen the show, which, if I am not mistaken, is not even available to stream in India. But that’s not even the worst part of the film – that, my friends is in the choice of villain. Andy Serkis, no doubt, is a great actor, but don’t get me wrong, his talents are, in my opinion, better suited for motion capture (Planet of the Apes, King Kong). A man like Luther needs an opponent who either matches him physically or mentally and Serkis, as David Robey, does neither. 

Verdict: Luther: The Fallen Sun is an affront to fans of the BBC cop series and its leading man too. The film’s ending, with Luther presumably meeting the chief of Mi6, offers the possibility of more follow ups. Here’s hoping that does not get greenlit.


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