Netflix it needs consistent hits to stay the number 1 streaming platform in the world. Competition is getting tougher, so one of Netflix’s solutions is use franchises that are not originally yours.
We have a good example with ‘Punches in the Back: The Glass Onion Mystery’, and there the move went very well, as it ended up becoming the fourth most watched movie of all time on Netflix. Now the platform seeks to repeat the move with ‘Luther: Night Falls’a feature film in which Idris Elbe recovers the mythical character that he already gave life to in the British series broadcast between 2010 and 2019.
Obviously, at Netflix they want the fans of ‘Luther’ to return, but they also want ‘Nightfall’ to increase the pull of the franchise by adding new viewers. I am part of this second group, since the original series is one of those titles that I was always postponing in favor of other proposals, which allows me to say that this film can be perfectly enjoyed with limited or non-existent knowledge of its protagonist. . Yes indeed, Don’t expect to find something extraordinary here either, because it is far from it.
Of more less
The great attraction of ‘Luther: Night Falls’ is the confrontation between the characters of Idris Elba and Andy Serkis, more than enough claim for anyone to be at least curious towards the movie. The problem is that the script Neil Cross he seems to have no particular interest in developing new characters, something that clashes with his ability to make old acquaintances flow much better, even for those unfamiliar with them.
This means that Serkis’s motivations do not go much beyond that he is bad and enjoys being bad, something that the actor knows how to take advantage of to have an imposing presence on screen. Unfortunately, that intimidating capacity is losing strength as the minutes go by, turning from a cunning manipulator in his powerful start to a mere eccentric villain to be dispatched in less than memorable fashion.
And it works much better when his character is an enigma, a resource that peaks during his first confrontation with Luther. There, the visual force with which his plan is executed leads the film to peak in the middle of the footage and then to focus on clarifying everything that is happening until the arrival of the inevitable final confrontation. Unfortunately, Cross is not particularly interested in giving it a dramatic depth beyond what we could find in an episode of any typical procedural series, so ‘Luther: Night Falls’ it suffers noticeably during its second hour.
Not even the presence of a solvent Cynthia Erivo it prevents that feeling from taking over the film as soon as Cross puts all the cards on the table. Then it is much more evident that the rest of the characters that surround the protagonist are nothing more than extras and are half cooked. Sure, the talents of Erivo and Serkis make up for that in part, but even they can only go so far with material that ends up being much more standard than desirable.
For this reason, ‘Luther: Night Falls’ goes from being a thriller that catches you with its intrigue and with striking staging details by Jamie Payne -take note, for example, of a practically pitched battle that the protagonist faces of his own free will-, who already directed the fifth season of the series at the time, to a routine story devoid of surprises. Not even that effective snowy setting of the final section serves to mask how superficial the resolution is at all levels, being especially lazy in the case of the character who is passing information to the great villain of the function.
All this does not mean that ‘Luther: Night Falls’ is an effective filmespecially if you don’t like this type of story, since of course it meets the minimum requirements, but where it does fail is in offering a distinctive thriller that takes advantage of the peculiarities of its main character to really leave you wanting more.
And it is clear that the idea is for this franchise to continue beyond this film, but Elba’s undeniable charisma also has a limit and needs more elaborate challenges to face. In fact, he draws attention to the fact that perhaps the best worked detail of his character has to do with his relationship with his former boss (Dermot Crowley), where with a couple of details the strong bond that exists between the two is perfectly transmitted.
So is it worth it or not?
During its first hour, ‘Luther: Night Falls’ is a thriller that engages thanks to the game of cat and mouse that is established between the characters of Elba and Serkis. Unfortunately, the film then runs out of gas and ends up becoming a suspenseful pastime that is correct but somewhat inconsequential and never quite gets the most out of the ingredients it uses. Nevertheless, the background is positive, but of course I expected more from her.
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