THE BROTHERS SUN. Being a Kung Fu Gangster [REVIEW]

“The Brothers Sun” is a comedic gangster series, executed with humor.

Odys Korczyński

8 January 2024

“The Brothers Sun” is a comedic gangster series, executed with humor yet featuring unconventional and authentic Far Eastern brutality. Following the success of the John Wick series, this formula has proven effective. However, until now, there hasn’t been a series that maintains such tension in the viewer while also offering a somewhat absurd softening of the harshness of killing scenes, until the arrival of Brad Falchuk and Byron Wu’s “The Brothers Sun.” Netflix seems to be increasingly investing in new film genres. Hopefully, after watching this series, the perception that all Netflix productions are the same will decrease. They are not, and over the years, this becomes more evident, not only because of “The Brothers Sun.”

A notable highlight of the series is Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh, an actress unafraid of challenges, as evidenced by her choice to participate in such a series. She is accompanied by two lesser-known actors, Justin Chien and Sam Song Li, portraying contrasting brothers. The trio of main characters is full of contradictions, with their relationships based on a comedy of errors immersed in the style of gangster drama and pastiche kung fu cinema, as seen in Stephen Chow’s works. Despite the potential for a mishmash, the creators found a balance between comedy and drama, as well as the amount of fistfights. Their experience in writing for “American Horror Story,” a multi-genre series, played a crucial role.

The series’ adventure aspect is evident in the plot, which involves the initiation of characters, successive tasks, collecting formidable enemies, creating an engaging experience for the viewer. The characters, despite being thieves, drug dealers, and even murderers, do not typically harm the innocent. The show romanticizes and psychologizes this criminal world, making it cool and fashionable. The creators successfully constructed a multi-threaded, colorful, brutal, and funny world that captivates viewers from episode to episode.

The constructed world in “The Brothers Sun” introduces seemingly unrelated elements, such as a criminal in a dinosaur costume, boiling a human head next to cooking churros, Bruce Sun’s forehead penis, or the dilemma of defecating with both thumbs broken. Each episode surprises, and this freshness in storytelling is attributed to Byron Wu’s creative freedom. The series maintains a weird tone reminiscent of filmmakers like Kurosawa, Juzo Itami, director Bong, and Park Chan-wook, who seamlessly transition between comedy, drama, and action.

However, the reviewer suggests that such a multi-layered and multi-genre current should ideally be contained within one season to preserve its magic. This way, the series won’t be diluted, allowing it to last longer within specific boundaries and avoiding viewer fatigue from repetitiveness, dialogue boredom, or getting accustomed to visual techniques.

Odys Korczyński

Odys Korczyński

For years he has been passionate about computer games, in particular RPG productions, film, medicine, religious studies, psychoanalysis, artificial intelligence, physics, bioethics, as well as audiovisual media. He considers the story of a film to be a means and a pretext to talk about human culture in general, whose cinematography is one of many splinters.

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