Michelle Yeoh captivates fans and critics in her newest role in ‘The Brothers Sun’

Less than a year after winning her first Oscar, Michelle Yeoh is once again receiving widespread praise, this time for her performance in Netflix’s “The Brothers Sun.” 

The eight-part series follows brothers Bruce and Charles Sun (played by Sam Song Li and Justin Chien), as the two contend with their roles in a family of gangsters. An assassination attempt against their father, known as Big Sun (Johnny Kou), brings Charles from Taipei to Los Angeles to protect his family from enemies of a triad that his own mother (Yeoh) has a past with. 

Yeoh’s role as Eileen “Mama” Sun has some similarities to her performance in “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” where she also packed a punch as an immigrant mother caring for a fractured family. 

Viewers agreed that it was hard to look away from Yeoh as the show moved from energetic martial arts sequences to nuanced explorations of Asian American family life. 

“The Brothers Sun is just another example of the fact that Michelle Yeoh is a god amongst us and will never fail to deliver,” one person wrote on X, formerly Twitter. 

Justin Chien, Michelle Yeoh,  Johnny Kou, and Yoshi Sudarso  in 'The Brothers Sun'.
Justin Chien, Michelle Yeoh, Johnny Kou and Yoshi Sudarso in “The Brothers Sun.” James Clark / Netflix

The show, produced by Byron Wu and Brad Falchuck, currently stands as the third most popular television series on Netflix. It also holds a 94% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes (where one fan demanded: “Give Mother Yeoh her Emmy!”), but has received some mixed reviews outside of Yeoh’s performance. 

“I can’t believe I made it this far into The Brothers Sun, but it was an arduous task. The only reason I kept watching is because Michelle Yeoh is carrying the entire show. Extreme heavy lifting on her part,” another person tweeted. 

“The one person that stands out here is definitely Michelle Yeoh,” one person wrote on IMDB. “Every scene she is in elevates the acting. She is the only thing that brings this lackluster show to life.” 

Michelle Yeoh and Justin Chien in 'The Brothers Sun'.
Michelle Yeoh and Justin Chien in “The Brothers Sun.” Michael Desmond / Netflix

Critics have echoed the audience fanfare, praising Yeoh’s “supreme and gloriously lethal” performance in a show that may have struggled without her. 

“If anyone can hold a show like this together it is Yeoh,” wrote journalist Jack Seale in a review for The Guardian. “Yeoh’s ability to shift from waspish impatience to cool menace fits perfectly: that Mama Sun is as lethal with her fists as any Triad is so inevitable it barely counts as a twist,” he continued.  

The show’s debut comes shortly after the cancellation of “American Born Chinese” after just one season on Disney+, which starred Yeoh alongside her “Everything Everywhere All at Once” co-star Ke Huy Quan.

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