Compare and contrasting the two Netflix fantasy martial arts series.
I wonder if the respective Producers or if a Netflix executive were overseeing the two productions, as they’re very, very similar!? Martial arts +supernatural forces +cultural superstitions +end of world ramifications= Warrior nun (or replace here with Wu Assassins). These two were so similar and interchangeable, that I’ll prove to you now how similar they were!
Ava Silva (The Warrior nun) and Kai Jin (The Wu assassin) were both unlikely heroes. One a deceased quadriplegic, the other a Chinese cuisine chef, both chosen and bestowed with magical superpowers- given the responsibility to prevent an end of world scenario. And of course, after some attempts to flee from their calling, they eventually embrace their roles and kick some serious ass!
Kick-ass fight sequences
Sure, martial arts in a triad/Asian gangster film, isn’t anything new; but fighting nuns armed to the teeth with medieval armaments and pump-action shotguns? Now that was a little out of the ordinary. But both shows, had awesome fight sequences, wicked fight choreography, and everyone seemed to have 9 lives! Hey?
Non-English native speaking leads
And for both shows, they casted a lead who were lesser known in the West but were legitimate stars in their home countries. Ava (played by Alba Baptista) who is a Portuguese actress, while Kai (played by Iko Uwais) is an Indonesian actor. But not knowing their career backgrounds before watching either show, I was blown away to find out it was Alba’s first film in English. While Iko produced, was lead martial artist, fight choreographer and stunt supervisor! And the benefit of an International distributor like Netflix, was that they were able to introduce and place into the spotlight to a global audience stars from smaller markets which we were not familiar with (but hope to see more of).
Whereas in Warrior Nun the cultural superstition were angels and demons, when in Wu Assassins the cultural superstition was the Wu Xing (mastery of the 5 natural elements). Netflix were able to lean on these cultural beliefs, using enough truth and then mixing in enough myth to allow their plots to develop (while probably offending millions in the process).
The other similarities included great special effects, a rockin’ soundtrack, applaud worthy acting, and an authentic supporting cast made up of diverse actus, but unfortunately both storylines were on the average to below average side.
Meanwhile the differences between the Wu and the Catholics was the story plots. Warrior Nun was based on a comic magazine series of the same title- telling a story of an ancient order of Nuns who protected unknowing mortals from demonic possession. The Warrior Nun, entrusted with an angel’s halo, which gave the bearer superpowers to see and to repel the evil spirits- Ava being the newest halo barer after the death of her predecessor. While over in San Francisco, the 5 Wu Xing bearers were all converging onto SF- the coming together of the 5 natural elements would marke the end of the world. And Kai Jin is chosen to be the last Wu Assassin, the last of a linage of 999, he empowered with the strength of 1000 warrior monks. His one single task being……… Kill each of the 5 Wu bearers (who all have supernatural abilities to master the elements). No big ask, just kill them all to avoid the end of the world! Simple really!
Where the Nuns cannot get along with each other, due to in-fighting, factions, and general distrust (complete opposite attributes of believers in Christ), the Chinatown gangsters exhibit brotherhood, loyalty, and family (reminding me a bit of the ‘family’ as exhibited in Fast & Furious).
And another big difference between WN (Warrior Nun) and WA (Wu Assassin), is the fact that WN has been renewed for a second series, the end of episode 10 and series 1, was left in complete limbo, with an epic fight scene paused, to be continued in season 2. Boo! While over on WA, the Orientals will not be renewed for a second season, the 10thepisode gave us a 95% sense of closure, while leaving a small slither open, just in case if they do get picked-up for a second season. At the time of writing, no word of a second season is being planned. Boo again!
So, if you have the time or interest to watch 2 fantasy series, which are oddly similar, I’m talking about uncannily similar! Then check them out on Netflix, Warrior Nun HERE! And Wu Assassins THERE!