‘Hard Sun’ Review: ‘Luther’ Creator’s Hard-Boiled Hulu Series Is Full of Hot Air

IndieWire | 3/7/2018 | Staff
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“Hard Sun” offers a premise as high in the sky as the glowing orb itself, but has no idea what to do with it. Two British detectives discover that the world is coming to an end and have to choose between trusting their government and making it public. That’s Episode 1. In Episode 2… well, to say what happens in the second episode would get into spoilers territory, even though the second hour of Neil Cross’ half-baked co-production between Hulu and the BBC is much more representative of what the show is and what it gets wrong.

Even in a traditional-sized British season and truncated American one — six episodes — the gritty crime drama bounces around within a hollow sci-fi story, mixing conventional elements of a police procedural with a more serialized narrative about an exploding sun. Very little of it works, be it the half-assed intermediary cases that barely hold up to logic or the broader conspiratorial arc that makes even less sense. “Hard Sun” is so busy trying to be everything at once it doesn’t take the time to get the details right (including a flawed initial premise). If this fictional world is ending, you’ve got to give us a reason to care.

Meet - Charlie - Hicks - Jim - Sturgess

Meet Charlie Hicks (Jim Sturgess). Charlie is an experienced, corrupt detective running a unit who just lost a man — his best friend and partner, Alex Butler. Torn up by the death, Charlie is on his last legs trying to keep his life together. He’s resorted to robbery in order to support Butler’s widow, Mari (Aisling Bea), and now a new detective, Elaine Renko (Agyness Deyn) has joined the ranks with a not-so-secret mission to find out if Hicks was the one to off his buddy.

Elaine has her own baggage. Just as Hicks is introduced during...
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