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"The Brothers Sun" (2024) Series: Quirky Gangsters, Family Drama, and Tarantino-Esque Kung Fu Comedy

Charles Sun, a Taipei gangster who's settled into his life as a ruthless killer, must go to L.A. to protect his mother and younger brother after his father is shot by a mysterious assassin.

Ah, gangsters and family drama—a combination as old as time itself. Or at least as old as "The Godfather." In Netflix’s new series, The Brothers Sun, we get a hearty mix of both with a side of martial arts, humor, and Michelle Yeoh being her usual flawless self. It’s like Quentin Tarantino remade Beverly Hills Ninja but decided to make it dead serious. And, oh boy, what a ride.

The series kicks off with Charles Sun (Justin Chien), a Taipei gangster who's built a reputation as a ruthless killer. He’s the kind of guy who can assassinate someone while adjusting his cufflinks. You know, just your average overachiever. But when his father is gunned down by a mysterious assassin, he’s forced to hop on a plane to L.A. to protect his mother (Michelle Yeoh) and his younger brother Bruce (Sam Song Li).

Of course, as with all family reunions, things don’t go as smoothly as he hopes. Bruce is a wannabe actor who took improv classes at Groundlings and is about as far from the ruthless gangster type as a cat is from joining the Westminster Dog Show. His idea of "action-packed" involves a yoga class rather than a fistfight. Charles must navigate the L.A. crime scene while keeping his brother and mother safe, all while dealing with family dynamics that are as explosive as a Michael Bay film.

Action Scenes and Real Combat Feel: The action sequences here are top-notch. The punches feel like they land, the kicks are sharp, and you can practically smell the sweat. It’s not just choreography; it’s like watching a real brawl where everyone knows kung fu. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for a good roundhouse kick.

Quentin Tarantino Meets Beverly Hills Ninja: Imagine if Tarantino directed Beverly Hills Ninja, but made it all intense and less goofy. That’s what The Brothers Sun feels like. There’s this quirky, dark humor mixed with over-the-top violence that makes for a compelling combination.

Casting: Justin Chien nails the role of Charles, balancing the gangster persona with moments of vulnerability. Michelle Yeoh is, as always, perfect. I mean, she could read the phone book and make it Oscar-worthy. Sam Song Li as Bruce is great too, bringing comedic relief with his out-of-touch yet endearing performance. My only gripe? Bruce’s best friend. He’s the kind of guy who'd be the first to die in a horror movie, and I found him more annoying than anything.

Too Many Subtitles: Look, I get it. The show’s got roots in Taipei, but when the setting shifts to America, it'd be nice to hear more English so I don't have to read my show. With all this AI tech floating around, is it too much to ask for a seamless dubbing experience? It’s not like we’re still using VHS tapes here.

Sam Song Li really did take improv classes at Groundlings to prep for his role as Bruce Sun. I guess that explains the comedic chops.

In Episode 2, Charles mentions two gangsters from Taipei named Sammo and Hung. This is a nod to the legendary Sammo Hung, who starred in numerous Hong Kong films with Michelle Yeoh.

This show reunites the Le brothers with Michelle Yeoh from Everything Everywhere All at Once. However, they don't get to duke it out this time.

The Brothers Sun is a fun, action-packed series that’s worth your time if you’re into family drama with a martial arts twist. While the subtitles can be a bit much, the quirky humor and intense action more than make up for it. Plus, with Michelle Yeoh in the cast, it’s hard to go wrong.

My final rating? 7.1/10. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s an enjoyable series that’s perfect for a weekend binge.

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