Netflix seems to be in the midst of an in-house production bonanza. So many of the new shows they create themselves are striking home with audiences. Dark Crystal, Sabrina, Extraction, with more coming, garnered very positive reviews from audiences. Warrior Nun can join these other movies/series as a great addition to the Netflix Library. Here is my Warrior Nun Review. (Warning: some mild spoilers ahead!)
Warrior Nun Review: Weapon of God
Warrior Nun stars Alba Baptista as Ava, a quadriplegic in a Catholic care center. For reasons not known for several episodes, Ava dies and end ups in a morgue. Enter the nuns.
We see a very large, fierce demon attacking them as they attempt to protect a halo from falling into its clutches. the previous halo bearer died recently and a new wielder must be found. At the behest of one nun, Ava’s lifeless body is chosen. Sure enough, when the halo is placed in her back, life returns to Ava’s corpse.
Over the ten episodes Ava must fight with her own spirit as well as the outside world. Now able to walk, Ava wants to experience life and love and live for the first time as a normal person, yet the powers of the halo cannot be denied. As long as she has it, the Order of the Cruciform Sword (nuns), ARQ-Tech (a science company attempting to harness the powers of Divinium), and demons will all be hunting her, all wanting the halo.
Warrior Nun Review: A Divine Cast
Alba does a wonderful job starring as Ava. When she is joyful and exuberant experiencing the world with her not quite above board friends. Morals can be set aside when the world is new and exciting. One nice touch the writers did an amazing job with are Ava’s internal monologues. Occasionally, we get to hear Ava talking to herself and instead of slowing things down, it usually adds a nice touch of flavor or humor. Alba gives the role an almost Buffy the Vampire Slayer humor at times, but she also does a great job when she needs to real it in for fear or determination.
The supporting cast also does a nice job backing Alba. Toya Turner comes off a bit flat as a rogue bounty hunter nun who tracks Ava to bring her back to the Order, but as the series unfolds, she goes through a nice character arc that deepens her character. Lorena Andrea plays a rather creepy role. She begins as a self obsessed warrior who feels the halo should belong to her. She hunts Ava to remove the halo and return it to the Order. Again, her character goes through some things that radically change her destiny. Add in Tristan Ulloa, Thekla Reuten, and Joaquim de Aleida, and you get an ensemble that does an amazing job.
Warrior Nun Review: Warriors of god With a Small ‘G’
The writers and creators do a good job balancing the story with both reality and fantasy. Obviously, using a religious topic for a show can be tricky. Veer too much to the God side and making the show drive home religious messages can alienate viewers who would otherwise like the show. Same in the reverse if you do not show the religious side respect. This show walks that line very well. It respects Christianity without trying to re-enact a show like Seventh Heaven.
The writers do a wonderful job mixing up the shows tone and feel as well. There are times where it feels to slow and drag a bit, but when it does exposition, this is where we grow with the characters or they make us laugh with their interactions. The humor for this show is nearly always on point, and oddly enough the constant cussing is refreshing and humorous.
Warrior Nun Review: The Look of a Nun
Another huge plus is the fight choreography. fight scenes can ruin a show, especially when certain shows like Arrow and The Badlands raised such a high bar. This show uses its fights sparingly, but when the action kicks in it rivals shows like Arrow or Picard. Toya and Lorena especially do an amazing job with their fight scenes. Toya totes shotguns and fists while Lonrena portrays the Order’s top martial artist. When they go head to head it looks great.
The CGI also looks solid. When the demons and spirits appear they look amazing. Even small things like the halo’s power and divinium powered portals come across well. In fact in the later episodes, Ava must learn to phase through 20′ of rock. The effects they use when she is inside the rock look very believable.
Warrior Nun Review: Final Thoughts
This is a very good show that I hope sees more seasons. The cast did an amazing job, the humor was good, and I felt fresh somehow. One thing I enjoyed was how the writers handled the characters. As the show progresses, characters you believe to be good turn bad. Those you think are bad turn good, and some that you thought good or bad just wound up in the middle, not understanding the bigger picture around them. None were terribly surprising, but it was good character growth. This show is worth a shot.