The Brothers Sun

On January 4th, the streaming service Netflix presented an 8-episode comedy-action series titled “The Brothers Sun,” in which one of the main roles was played by Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh. In the review below, we discuss what creators Brad Falchuk and Byron Wu offer to the audience and why their project evokes conflicting feelings.

“The Brothers Sun”

Genre: Action, black comedy, drama Showrunners: Brad Falchuk, Byron Wu

Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Justin Chien, Samson Lee, June Lee, Madison Gu, Heidi Kuan, Alice Huguen

Premiere: Netflix Year of release: 2024 IMDb

The Brothers Sun
The Brothers Sun

In Taipei, a group of unknown assailants attacks Charles Sun, a lover of baking sweets and the son of the leader of one of the triads known as Big Sun. A few hired mercenaries pose no significant problem for the skilled assassin Charles, but later it turns out that this attack is just a trap set by a mysterious adversary to eliminate Senior Sun.

As a result, the latter ends up in the hospital, in a coma, and Charles quickly goes to Los Angeles to protect his mother Eileen and younger brother Bruce from potential threats. The younger Sun is not even aware that his relatives are directly involved in the cruel gangster world, and getting involved in the conflict between triads becomes a surprising revelation for the uninformed medical student.

At the initial stage, “The Brothers Sun” looks more than decent, leaning towards a lively comedic action with inventive humor and almost “John Wick” style fight scenes—complete with blood splattering directly into the camera and other spectacular moments. However, later on, all the enthusiasm gradually fades away, and watching what unfolds on the screen becomes less interesting.

For example, in the second episode, there is an absolutely brilliant action sequence set in the thematic celebration of a dinosaur-themed birthday, an obvious homage to “Jurassic Park” that would make Professor Ross Geller ecstatic. But by the fourth episode, one has to endure not-so-thrilling dialogues lasting for 6 minutes and reconcile with an uncertain dramatic component that hinders the full expression of comedic madness.

Such emotional roller coasters do not work in favor of the series, and the plot slowdown in the middle of the season can significantly spoil the overall impression of the show.

“The Brothers Sun” belongs to the type of projects that start off lively but lose their initial charm along the way.

Closer to the sixth episode, the realization comes that it’s almost impossible to watch until the story reaches its climax, which can be considered the seventh and eighth episodes. Here, the stakes increase noticeably, drama finally prevails over comedy, and the scale of the action scenes grows.

The Brothers Sun
The Brothers Sun

The local actors, especially Justin Chien and Samson Lee in the titular roles, fit well into their characters. The first is very convincing as a ruthless killer with the hidden skill of a prominent pastry chef. The latter handles the role of an awkward fool who won’t harm a fly quite well.

The main star of the show, Michelle Yeoh, as always, is excellent. However, the creators criminally underutilized all her talents. For the majority of the runtime, the Oscar and Golden Globe winner has to switch between the roles of a cook skillfully chopping green onions and an ambitious lady accustomed to using intellect rather than force. There are also colorful supporting characters that truly stand out.

After watching, the lingering thought is that experienced showrunner Brad Falchuk (“American Horror Story,” “Scream Queens”), newcomer Byron Wu, and their creative team would have been better off deviating from the standard Netflix formula of 8 episodes.

If the script had been trimmed of unnecessary elements that disastrously impede the story’s development, focusing on the best moments available (humor, action scenes, climax tension), it could have resulted in something truly outstanding. As it stands, it’s an uneven, albeit quite likable series that satirizes the luxurious lifestyle of John Cho and can fill a couple of gloomy winter evenings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *