FUBAR is a new Netflix series starring legendary action star Arnold Schwarzenegger in his first television series role. The series had potential, but it ultimately falls flat on its face. The action scenes are generic, the humor and jokes are forced, and the characters are underdeveloped. Schwarzenegger does his best with a role clearly tailored to his acting, but the writing is very wooden and his age shows throughout the action sequences.
Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Luke Brunner, a veteran CIA operative on the verge of retirement. He’s been living a double life for over 40 years and is finally ready to retire and spend time with his family. He can’t go into retirement though until he completes one last mission with a connection to a past mission. During the mission, he discovers that his daughter, Emma (Monica Barbaro), is also a CIA agent on the exact same case. Naturally, the two of them must work together in order to save the world from a portable WMD.
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The biggest critique I can give FUBAR is the characters in the series. They’re all underdeveloped and one-dimensional stereotypes we’ve seen countless times. Schwarzenegger’s character is a stereotypical action hero: tough, smart, and always gets the job done as the CIA’s best agent. Barbaro’s character is an exact mirror of her father and is stereotypical because she doesn’t play by the rules. The supporting characters are even worse, especially the two supporting CIA agents Roo and Aldon. They’re completely forgettable and it takes someone to say their name in order for you to remember what it was.
The humor throughout the series is also a major disappointment. We’ve seen Schwarzenegger do comedies, from films like Kindergarten Cop and Jingle All the Way. However, the jokes here are completely juvenile and often fall flat. There’s a scene in the first episode where Schwarzenegger and Barbaro are struggling to turn off Emma’s vibrator. It could have been a good bit but goes on for too long and ends up not being funny.
Overall, FUBAR is another disappointing Netflix series that fails to live up to its potential. It’s predictable, full of clichés, and follows the same basic formula as every other action-adventure film and series. It’s a shame as well because it wastes a talented cast, from Gabriel Luna as the villain Boro to Jay Baruchel as Emma’s boyfriend Carter, who is a male Kindergarten teacher that Schwarzenegger makes jokes about. If you’re a fan of Schwarzenegger as an action star, you might want to check it out, but otherwise, you’re better off skipping this one.
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