By Leonardo Cervantes
Adapting a series with multiple seasons into a condensed two-hour film always has pros and cons but “Luther: The Fallen Sun” picks up where the series ended.
The first 30 minutes of the film are mostly exposition and previews the chaos to ensue. The action and psychological scenes are on par with the series.
As a stand-alone film it does its job, it grabs the viewer’s attention with thrilling scenes throughout the film.
For long-time fans of the Luther series this feels like a nice bonus episode, but it doesn’t expand much on the lore of the series.
The crowning moment of the film is a prison riot scene where all hell breaks loose.
John Luther, played by Idris Elba, goes berserk inside the prison and pounces on his enemies. He takes on multiple prisoners at once and leaves them begging for mercy.
The scene is a bit over the top, but it gives one of the most decorated actors of the century a chance to show off his acting range; it was possibly his most violent scene ever.
The cinematography is brilliant. The film is set in London and allowed directors to take advantage of the skyscrapers and gloomy weather that really emphasize the setting. The camera angle during action scenes shows the versatility of fighting styles between Luther and main antagonist David Robey, played by Andy Serkis..
Awesome chase and stealth scenes take place on the train tracks. There are also some car chases that showcase the city’s skyscrapers and compact streets.
The lack of screen time among other actors was jarring because they excel in the short stints that they are on camera for.
Cynthia Erivo as Odette Raine plays the role of a no-nonsense boss. She truly shines and deserves more screen time.
Serkis plays the mysterious and devious antagonist role perfectly. Serkis as Robey is also brilliant casting because he’s significantly smaller and less intimidating than Elba’s Luther.
It’s a perfect contrast; Robey is small, but cunning and manipulative while Luther is both physically gifted and knowledgeable.
Robey’s unpredictability keeps viewers on the edge of their seat; he’s a mysterious but tactical foe for Luther.
One thing lacking with Robey’s character was his reasoning for wanting to stop Luther. The film didn’t make that clear and left it up to the viewers to interpret.
That always feels like lazy writing on the part of writers. Whether it’s a valid or dumb reason, villains should always have a clear motivation for their actions.
Although Elba seems brilliant in any role he plays, the film’s average script feels like a waste of Elba’s performance.
The film is decent, but there isn’t anything special or memorable about it. Elba’s fans will be able to enjoy another brilliant acting performance by him, but the lack of broader cast involvement is a letdown.
The film is rated R and has a run time of two hours and nine minutes. The film is available to watch on Netflix.