Netflix's Warrior Nun series review - Absurd weekend entertainment
Warrior nun is a Netflix original fantasy action adventure web series about a secret order of trained nuns who fight against demonic forces covertly for centuries. It is based on the comic book character Warrior Nun Areala created by Ben Dunn. The head nun is called a warrior nun (obviously), who has been fitted with a circular artifact that is an angel's halo which gives the head nun super powers. The story starts with the death of the current warrior nun, and the halo finding itself in possession of Ava, a non believer. Ava was a quadriplegic girl (a person who has lost motor functions in all four limbs) who lost her mother in an accident which paralyzed her. She died in her sleep and was brought back to life when the halo was inserted into her dead body just after the death of Shannon, the warrior nun. The whole concept of warrior nun is absurd in extreme. There is a mad scientist with a sobstory, a psychopathic caretaker nun and a cleric turned heretic. They deal with a variety of topic from parallel dimensions to Higgs field to demons and angels. It's a mishmash of all these topics which makes the story of warrior nun.
However, warrior nun doesn't feel like a mess and its thanks in big part to the main lead Ava, played by Alba Baptista and the meaty support given by Toya Turner, playing sister Mary. Alba especially nails her role as a non believer who has been pushed into situation far too complicated by infighting and internal politics. So, she bails and goes on the run from everyone where she meets a group of people and befriends them. The portions are certainly light hearted and fun, but then the plot hangs them out to dry by completely forgetting them after a few episodes. This is the problem with warrior nun, the story deals with so many things, but fails to properly explore anything in particular. There are unnecessary scenes given way too much screen time and necessary portions that were trimmed down to accommodate those unnecessary bits.
But, when the story works, it really works. There are genuine moments of emotional connect, especially with Ava and Mary, and some neat twists and turns. But they are also followed by needless moments where the story tries a little too hard to make us emotionally connect with the characters, like when we hear a sorry conversation between Ava and sister Beatrice, about everyone having shady pasts. It's a bit cliched to say the least.
The story is set in Spain and Italy, and some parts in Portugal, and the cinematography properly captures the beautiful country sides and the darker moments. The music is good with some songs providing comic relief with their timing and the background score augmenting the scenes.
Warrior nun is not a philosophical or even scientific story and it shines brightest when it doesn't try to be one. It's a perfect weekend bingeable entertainment to the people who like demons and action and stuff, especially in these troubling times and whatnot due to the Covid crisis faced by the world. In that, it is a good tribute to the trendsetter of this genre, Buffy the vampire slayer. But it could have tried to trim it's story and provided some better screenplay and it could have been the perfect tribute. The story ends in a cliffhanger and so there is certainly a season 2. Let's hope they can correct these mistake in season 2.
Verdict: Much needed mindless weekend entertainment that has some real emotional moments.
Available in: Netflix
Bingeopedia score: 3/5