Noob Reviews: Warrior Nun (Season 01)
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is Warrior Nun?
Released in early July 2020, Warrior Nun is a Netflix original adaptation of the 1994 Warrior Nun Areala series of Canadian comics that follows the adventures of a secret army of demon-slaying nuns (the Order of the Cruciform Sword). Whose presence is even kept secret from most of the higher echelons of the Vatican. And yet protects innocents all over the planet daily.
What is the first season about?
After a critical operation goes wrong for a team from the Order of the Cruciform Sword, and their leader is fatally wounded. Ava, a recent suicide case brought to the church, has her corpse used by a nun to hide an ancient and powerful angel’s halo to protect it from a force of enemy mercenaries who are chasing after the retreating OCS operatives. It is said that only when bound to a human, will the halo’s power be hidden from the enemies that seek it, as the human body dampens its powers.
Unfortunately what the nun and Ava did not expect - was the halo reanimates Ava’s corpse and fully heals her legs that were mangled beyond repair in a car crash that took the lives of her parents. Not only that but it imbues her with supernatural powers, such as enhanced healing, the ability to phase through solid objects and the power to imbue otherworldly metal items, with the ability to banish demons from our realm and send them back to hell.
However, with the ability to walk restored, Ava flees the church when she hears the fight going on between the mercenaries and the OCS team and takes to the streets. Refusing to join the warrior nuns and instead seeking out a new life.
Season one follows the moral dilemma Ava has when choosing to either keep running from or fight for - the OCS. While also being hunted by a corporation which has been collecting an otherworldly metal to build a portal to another realm (believed to be heaven). A portal that can only be powered by the halo that Ava has hidden within her body. At the same time, it is not all peace and harmony for the OCS itself as it’s recent failure has forced a Vatican Cardinal (Francisco Duretti). To call into question what the OCS do and review the methods they use. Forcing their current chapter manager/Vatican contact (Father Vincent) to defend his chapter from closure and having his warrior nuns separated and sent to different religious sites around the world.
Whether it be warrior nuns fighting demons. Political struggle. Or the moral decisions and internal monologuing of a nineteen-year-old superheroine, Warrior Nun has many different story arcs and themes coming together - offering a little bit of something for everyone.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- Official trailer linked from IGN’s YouTube channel -
You can also find the listing on Netflix here.
When did it come out?
Warrior Nun was released in July 2020.
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
Alba Baptista (Ava Silva)
Joaquim de Almeida (Cardinal Duretti)
Thekla Reuten (Jillian Salvius)
Toya Turner (Shotgun Mary)
Tristan Ulloa (Father Vincent)
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of Warrior Nun (Season 01)?
When first seeing the trailer for Warrior Nun, it immediately piqued my interest as it had a delicate balance of action, sass and story. And to some extent, the series managed to deliver an exciting look into a secret chapter of demon-fighting warrior nuns that were on a knife’s edge between right and wrong. Unfortunately, though it was let down quite heavily by a few things.
When it comes to the acting, there are some great attempts at acting, such as from Ava as the main protagonist. And from Shotgun Mary, a warrior nun who wields dual shotguns and is essentially the Dirty Harry of Father Vincent’s chapter - that can be called on to get the jobs done, no one else can. Unfortunately, for the most part, the acting is either bare minimum or so over the top it shoots itself in the foot. And that is a shame as what could have been a great cast with a dependable delivery like Shotgun Mary, Ava and the privately schooled Sister Beatrice who seems to be angling to become Ava’s love interest. Just simmers as opposed to boils.
In addition to the acting, the script and story, when given such rich material to pull from (from the comic book series), is atrocious at times and really lets itself down. The internal monologue by Ava for the majority of time is just background noise and offers little to their actual situation. And some of the lines just make you cringe so hard. I think the main problem with the acting and the script, though, is there seemed to be so many different styles going on. When checking, it appears that there were seven writers (who at most only ever worked on one or two episodes each out of the ten) and five directors (who again only ever work on a handful of episodes each). This inconsistency in taste and style can really be felt in some of the episodes.
When it comes to the episodes. And taking into account the above, I honestly feel ten episodes was about four episodes too long for this series. What could have been short, concise and attention-grabbing was instead drawn out and chock full of filler that the episodes really could have done without as it killed the pacing.
On the flip side, the CGI demons were done really nicely. The majority of the action scenes were executed smoothly. And there are times where you really want to feel for the characters, and they have their moments. It is just a shame they are few and far between. Without doing spoilers, the ending to the series does offer massive potential for a second series but was predictable. It still hooked me and dragged me in, and if a second season came out, I would give it a watch - but if Warrior Nun had had that much passion and TLC, as it did in the last few episodes, throughout the others. It would have been a solid five-star rating.
What rating would you give Warrior Nun (Season 01)?
I would rate the first season of Warrior Nun a 3.4 out of 5 bananas.
What could have been a fantastic adaptation was mediocre at best. Worth a watch but definitely not without its flaws. If a second season was announced, I would watch it, but in the hopes, there has been a substantial reflection on delivery, script and team structure. Instead of multiple writers and directors, try to get a uniformity throughout that suits everyone.
Thank you very much for checking out the review, and if you are interested in Warrior Nun (Season 01) and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out here.