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DVD Review: Luther 2

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It only takes one glimpse at the American TV roster to deduce that crime dramas are about as hard to come by these days as Walmart stores. And, many times, the selection of police procedurals are of the same crappy quality as that of the huge, soulless conglomerate that casts its shadow of doom over communities big and small. And then there are some of the gritty cop shows that hail from the UK, such as the BBC’s Luther, which premiered in 2010, and features Idris Elba (who had been in the US TV series, The Wire several years earlier) as a brilliant, tormented detective in London.

This second series of the show — which is simply referred to as just plain Luther 2 instead of, say, Luther: Series Two — consists of four harsh and extremely captivating episodes, which follows the life and work of Detective Chief Inspector John Luther (Elba), who starts out here in a strange state of disillusion following the murder of his wife in the previous series; which he had been accused of and cleared. With the inauspicious thoughts of suicide out of his system, Luther now finds himself in charge of a newly-commissioned Serious and Serial Crime Unit in the city: a branch that’s perfect for the obsessive genius that lurks within John’s mind.

In the first two episodes of Luther 2, our antihero finds himself matching wits with a serial killer with delusions of becoming the modern day Spring-Heeled Jack. Taunting the police with a live webcam presentation, the crazed assassin soon kidnaps Luther’s young protégé, DS Ripley (Warren Brown). The second set of episodes — which conclude the series — feature a more absorbing tale of a man who picks out his prey at random via a twelve-sided die, and uses a hammer and water pistol filled with acid to maim and murder said victims; carnage which continues even after the perp is caught, to wit Luther determines that the bloody game is being played by more than one person.

BBC Worldwide unleashed this mesmerizing, gritty series on DVD in a 2-Disc Set that sports an first-rate video presentation and stereo sound. Optional English (SDH) subtitles are also included. There are no special features with this release, unless you count the previews and promos for other BBC DVD titles as bonus materials.

Highly recommended.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.