FUBAR Review: Even Arnold Schwarzenegger Can't Save This Absurd Netflix Original

Arnold Schwarzenegger escapes a garbage fire in FUBAR.

“Despite the entertaining leads of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Monica Barbaro, FUBAR ultimately feels like another Netflix original series that would have been better suited as a movie.”


  • The funny leading roles of Schwarzenegger and Barbaro

  • A refreshingly absurd tone throughout


  • An uninteresting, boring villain

  • Consistently long episode running times

  • Numerous outdated creepy jokes

FUBAR feels like a straight-to-DVD action movie turned into an eight-episode Netflix series. The new comedy, directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, is loaded with so many outdated jokes and cheap pictures that it could be described as something that used to be found at the bottom of a bargain box. To put it bluntly: That doesn’t mean FUBAR is completely without charm. On the contrary, there are moments in the show’s first season when it works perfectly as a brainless action comedy.

The difference between FUBAR However, it differs from the action films that have been released straight to DVD in that this one lasts almost eight hours, while the other usually says hello and goodbye within about 90 minutes. FUBAR is, in other words, another victim of Hollywood’s growing disinterest in the feature film format. This trend has led to a growing number of regrettable TV shows FUBARan occasionally effective comedy that inevitably lasts about five hours longer.

In FUBAR, Monica Barbaro and Arnold Schwarzenegger stand together in a cargo plane.
Netflix/Christos Kalohoridis

Just months after Paramount+ gave Sylvester Stallone a chance to direct his own TV series, Netflix has now done the same for Arnold Schwarzenegger FUBAR. Although the new series created by Nick Santora is in a completely different genre than Stallone’s Tulsa King, the two series have more in common than just being helmed by two Hollywood action film titans. In particular, both series give their stars the chance to play lifelong badasses who are better at their professional lives than their personal lives. not how Tulsa Kingwhich, however, spends much of its first season focusing on the details of its main character’s rise through the mob world, FUBAR is more interested in exploring his hero’s grueling work-life balance than his own undercover exploits.

The hero in question is Schwarzenegger’s Luke Brunner, a longtime CIA agent who is about to finally retire FUBAR begins. His plans quickly change when he is ordered to go on a field mission to extract another agent before their identities are compromised and they are quickly released from their target, Boro (Gabriel Luna), an arms dealer Luke once sought out cared for and whom he cared for, a child will be killed. When he arrives at Boro’s manor posing as the surrogate father figure the villain once knew, Luke is shocked to discover that the compromised agent he’s been sent to rescue is none other than his own daughter, Emma (Monica Barbaro).

Luke and Emma’s joint discovery that they’ve been lying to each other about their careers leads to numerous arguments between father and daughter, many of which continue even after their original mission ends. Your relationship is actually the focus of FUBAR, which often explores, with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, the aftermath of the lies Emma and Luke each told. Thankfully, the constant disagreements between the two can often get annoying, but Barbaro and Schwarzenegger have enough charisma and chemistry to enhance many of their scenes together.

Barry and Tina sit together in a command center in FUBAR.
Netflix/Christos Kalohoridis

Like many TV shows before, FUBAR It takes several episodes to take root. The premiere of the series is a frantic and oddly fast-paced hour of television, and it’s not until the third or fourth episode that it starts to feel like it FUBAR has figured out the complexity of his core relationships. That’s especially true of the central dynamic between Barbaro’s Emma and Schwarzenegger’s Luke, which always works best FUBAR resolves to lessen the level of malice and malice between them. A scene in which Schwarzenegger and Barbaro are asked to take casts of each other while holding on to their characters’ Muppet-like dolls is easily included FUBARis the funniest and best.

If that sounds a bit ridiculous, it’s because it definitely is. Thank God, FUBAR never takes himself too seriously. The series is an absurdist action comedy that borrows heavily from movies and TV shows True Lies And get smart. While it’s not quite as clever as the latter, or quite as sophisticated as the former, FUBAR is often at its best when it comes to being the lightest version of these two titles. Again, it’s far less successful when you’re asked to commit to Emma’s increasingly tumultuous relationship with her oblivious longtime boyfriend Carter (Jay Baruchel), or her flirtatious relationship with Aldon (Travis Van Winkle), a handsome member of Luke’s personal CIA -Team.

Across the border, FUBARThe side relationships, characters and subplots of ‘s leave a lot to be desired. Many of the series’ supporting characters, including Aldon and Roo (Fortune Feimster), another member of Luke’s team, are not only underdeveloped, but are hampered by clunky monologues and exhibition dumps that are awkward and distracting. From FUBAROnly Milan Carter and Barry, the nerdy right-hand man of Schwarzenegger’s Luke, fit well with the supporting cast. Over the course of the show’s first season, the character is burdened with a monotonous relationship and numerous jokes that feel like they’ve stepped straight out of a Chuck Lorre comedy from the early 2000s, but Carter’s comedic chemistry with Schwarzenegger prevents that Barry it ever becomes a nuisance.

Barry, Emma and Luke sit together at a table in FUBAR.
Netflix/Christos Kalohoridis

Opposite Schwarzenegger, The last of us Star Gabriel Luna does his best to add some level of intensity to his performance FUBARis the central villain, but his efforts to make Boro intimidating and tragic are ultimately hampered by the series’ inconsistent characterization of him. FUBAR Boro’s story is also expanded to fit the needs of the eight-episode first season, which only makes the conflict between him, Emma and Luke seem all the more unnecessary and forced.

Its minimal number of set pieces also makes it redundant FUBARThe many romantic subplots are all the more obvious. The series feels overloaded and flimsy at the same time, a reminder that some stories really aren’t meant to be turned into ongoing, episodic adventures. If only it had been a 90 minute action movie pitting Schwarzenegger’s Luke against his biological daughter and surrogate son, FUBAR could have worked as a perfect and entertaining B-movie. the way it is now FUBAR is another overly long Netflix series that manages to lose all of its goodwill long before the season finale goes black for the last time.

FUBAR is now available to stream Netflix. Digital Trends got early access to all eight episodes of the first season.

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