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Luther The Fallen Sun 2023 movie

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Kennedy Unthank

Movie Review

Det. Chief Inspector John Luther was assigned to find out what happened to 17-year-old Callum Aldrich, a poor boy who apparently stumbled upon a woman’s corpse in a parked car before disappearing. The boy is just one of many victims who’ve fallen into the hands of a serial killer who’s quickly gaining notoriety.

When the killer learns that Luther’s on the case, he’s not happy about it. You see, Luther’s the best in the business, and this wily and well-connected killer wants to make sure that Luther will never catch him. So the killer plays a few cards and pulls a few strings, and it isn’t long before Luther is behind bars in a maximum-security prison on some sudden charges for all the laws he broke while chasing bad guys in the TV series.

Sometime later, the team led by newly appointed Director of Criminal Investigation Odette Raine discovers the charred remains of eight more victims—Callum among them. Some of these victims have been missing for many years. That fact, spurred on by a mocking message sent by the killer to Luther, is something that seems strange to him.

“Why does he make an announcement right now?” Luther asks in a phone call to Odette. “I’ll tell you why; because something’s coming. And whatever it is, he needs an audience.”

It’s a pretty strong warning coming from someone pretty much everyone considers to be a corrupt cop. Nevertheless, it’s a warning that Luther feels is going unnoticed.

And if the police won’t heed his words, Luther will just have to break out of prison and hunt the killer himself—before it’s too late.

Positive Elements

Though he is a technically acting as a vigilante here, Luther is nonetheless putting everything on the line in order to stop a horrific serial killer.

Elsewhere in the movie, we’re warned of how our internet life isn’t actually private. Specifically, the killer blackmails his victims into doing his bidding because he’s obtained footage of their illicit behavior online or by use of a home camera. When a man watches pornography in private, we see that he’s being recorded by someone and is marked as a potential target for their next blackmail victim.

While the film isn’t about the dangers of the Internet, it does serve as a reminder that what we do online can be found out—even if we think being in “Incognito Mode” guarantees some level of anonymity. As such, the film warns us not do or say anything online that we’d be ashamed of someone discovering.

Spiritual Elements

A man says that he’s in a church when he’s actually in a bar.

Sexual Content

A lead takes Luther into a red-light district. When he arrives, he meets a gay man who tells him of how he had talked about pornographic fantasies with another man and planned a night of indulgence with him. We hear sensual moans coming from TV screens. Additionally, a couple men are seen watching pornography, and while we don’t see anything critical, we do hear noises.

A neon sign and a marble statue depict women’s breasts. Luther showers, though nothing is shown.

Violent Content

Luther: The Fallen Sun has a bit more violence (including some disturbing violence) than the TV series it’s based upon does.

We see eight bodies hanged in nooses and burned into charred bits. We hear the horrific screams of a 17-year-old boy as he is murdered. A man burns to death. Someone else drowns. Another victim is likely killed after being hit multiple times in the head with a hammer. Luther threatens to “tattoo a man’s eye,” holding a needle extremely close to the man’s pupil before backing down. People propel themselves off a rooftop to their deaths, causing cars to crash into one another as well. Someone is tasered. People are kidnapped.

We discover that people are being kidnapped for a “Red Room,” a place on the Dark Web where people pay to watch victims get tortured to death. We see one such person be stabbed, and we see a girl be choked repeatedly with a plastic bag. Dead bodies are found below ice. We also hear details describing exactly how a man was tricked into sexually assaulting another man.

A police officer is stabbed, and he bleeds out as people attempt to close his wound. Someone is hit by a car at high speed (though we don’t see the end result).

A prison riot breaks out, and people throw punches and kicks. We see an artistic representation of a crucifixion victim. A man is beaten unconscious with a pipe. A woman is zip-tied and knocked to the ground. We’re also told of a woman who was severely burned, and we see the gruesome burn marks. We see a girl get kidnapped. Someone commits suicide by lethal injection. The killer kisses one of his helpless victims.

Crude or Profane Language

The f-word is used nearly 40 times, and the s-word is 11 times. We also hear occasional uses of “h—” and “p-ss,” as well as crude references to both the male and female anatomy. God’s name is abused nine times, and Jesus’ name is used in vain eight times.

Drug and Alcohol Content

People drink alcohol.

Other Negative Elements

We see a group of people nervously watching the Red Room stream, glancing around to make sure no one catches them. A man vomits.

Conclusion

Luther: The Fallen Sun picks up after its TV counterpart’s fifth season. Det. John Luther been thrown in prison while a horrific serial killer taunts him in the shadows, looking for another victim to kill.

In that regard, the plot could be described as a mix of The Batman and Black Mirror’s “Shut Up and Dance.” A devious, Riddler-like criminal mastermind chooses his victims through online blackmail. And though the spilled blood onscreen might actually be less than we’d expect, the specter of gruesome violence likewise always lurks in the shadows here.

This serial killer’s victim count ranges well into the dozens, many of whom we see onscreen, either dead or shortly before they’re murdered. And as the plot unfolds, viewers get pulled into the seedy, grimy underbelly of London—a James Bond-like detective film that dives deep into the grit.

Luther: The Fallen Sun draws us into the dead of night—and it’ll likely have you wanting for that fallen sun to rise again and bring a bit of brightness your way by the time the credits roll.

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kennedy-unthank
Kennedy Unthank

Though he was born in Kansas, Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics and hermeneutics. He doesn’t think the ending of Lost was “that bad.”