Luther 2 (DVD Review)25 Oct, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Stars Idris Elba, Dermot Crowley, Warren Brown, Ruth Wilson.
Hollywood seems to have a tough time pigeonholing British-born actor Idris Elba, whose crossover appeal found him starring opposite Beyoncé in Obsessed, playing Heimdall, guardian of the Rainbow Bridge, in Thor, and stints on “The Wire” and “The Office,” among other roles.
Across the pond, Elba has created a cult following playing troubled English police detective John Luther in the second season of the BBC serial “Luther.” The gritty four-part crime drama on BBC America appears made-to-order for the titular character’s imposing presence yet soft soul.
That Luther conceals so well a dark, troubled persona is a testament to Elba’s unassuming demeanor and the show’s compelling backstories that have the detective’s wife leave and a superior double-cross him. Luther also appears to become enamored by a femme-fatale psychopath, Ann Morgan (Ruth Wilson), who killed her parents in a most ingenious fashion, among other human foibles.
Season two finds the homicide detective contemplating his own suicide. Adrift in his depressing flat, drink in hand and a Russian roulette-loaded gun stuck to the temple, Luther’s end appears over before it starts. Luckily for the viewer, there are far more pressing issues at hand, including wayward lunatics wandering the streets of London looking to inflict their own brand of demented — and entertaining — mayhem.
Juxtaposed between a voyeuristic madman who videotapes himself stabbing his victims and an anarchist thug hell-bent on tabulating body counts and degrees of inflicted death, Luther again wades up to his neck into morally ambiguous gray waters to rescue the daughter of a former (i.e. dead) colleague involved in online porn — all without losing his cool.