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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This show got my attention as it stars Idris Elba who was excellent
when he played Stringer Bell in "The Wire", while he is also good in
this his presence will inevitably lead to comparisons with "The Wire"
and in any such comparison "Luther" will come a distant second. Of
course any such comparison is unfair; they may both be dramas about
crime but this isn't attempting to be be a critique of the system, it
is just another in a long line of cop shows.
This opening episode quickly introduced main character DCI John Luther; a policeman who is willing to break the rules and even lets a criminal fall from a great height. When the story proper starts several months have past and the criminal is in a coma and Luther has just returned to work after an investigation into his actions. He has no time to settle in as he is immediately called out to a double murder. A young woman has reported that both her parents have been murdered. After examining the scene and talking to the daughter he is soon convinced that she is responsible, unfortunately there is no evidence.
What follows is entertaining enough but full of clichés; we learn Luther is estranged from his wife, he performs an illegal search in which he finds unusable evidence and the girl threatens his wife. The most glaring fault was when he surmised that she had disposed of the weapon by hiding it inside the dead dog which got cremated... then she kept the ashes which contained a large gun part, to think the people who put the ashes in the small urn wouldn't notice the part pushes suspension of disbelief a little too far.
While this wasn't the best entry into the cop genre it wasn't bad and past the time well enough, I'll certainly continue to watch to see how it turns out.
The writing here is clichéd and sophomoric. Direction is lackluster,
acting is pedestrian (except the villain, who is overblown)
This is a cop- versus-villain you have seen before, but even more manipulative than usual.
If this series relied on true mystery, and less on the interplay between Luther and his semi- ex-wife, it might have made it.
Cliché after cliché in the writing here though.
The use of moving camera to follow the brooding Elba is tired. The disturbed psyche of Elba is not convincingly written.
Elba is a fine actor, and is let down by the writing, sadly
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