Arnold Schwarzenegger, the iconic action movie star, returns to the screen with his new TV series, FUBAR, now available for streaming on Netflix. Promoted as a thrilling action-comedy reminiscent of the popular film True Lies, the show fails to live up to expectations. Despite targeting fans of Schwarzenegger’s earlier films, FUBAR lacks the entertainment value and charm of its predecessors. This review examines the first three episodes, delving into the show’s shortcomings and its attempts to replicate the magic of True Lies, ultimately falling short.
Capturing Schwarzenegger’s Past Success:
FUBAR opens with classic Schwarzenegger elements, featuring him in slow-motion, walking away from a fire and driving a fast sports car while the Rolling Stones play in the background. Schwarzenegger portrays Luke Brunner, a seasoned CIA operative on the verge of retirement, hoping to reconnect with his daughter, Emma, played by Monica Barbaro. The show swiftly establishes the familiar plotline of rescuing a loved one, similar to True Lies but with a daughter instead of a wife.
Flawed Attempts at Comedy:
Creator Nick Santora tries to infuse humor into FUBAR, but the comedic banter falls flat. The relentless and often crass jokes about Viagra, vibrators, and cuckolding become annoying rather than entertaining. Luke’s young CIA colleagues, played by Fortune Feimster and Travis Van Winkle, bombard viewers with numerous punchlines that fail to land. Arnold’s new catchphrase, “That’s it, and that’s all,” lacks the impact and memorability of his iconic lines from previous films.
Lackluster Action Sequences:
The action scenes in FUBAR are perhaps the show’s redeeming feature, offering a break from the underwhelming attempts at humor. Each episode presents a high-stakes action set piece, showcasing Luke and Emma’s use of impressive spy gadgets. However, the CGI effects appear surprisingly cheap, and the show disregards the laws of physics, particularly concerning Arnold’s fighting abilities. While he still looks impressive for his age, his movements appear sluggish compared to his earlier films, undermining the authenticity of the action sequences.
Failed Emotional Connections:
FUBAR tries to establish a heartfelt father-daughter bond between Luke and Emma, but the emotional beats feel forced and clumsy. None of the relationships portrayed in the series ring true, leaving viewers detached from the characters’ experiences. Despite the star quality Monica Barbaro brings to her role, the material provided fails to showcase her talents effectively. Gabriel Luna, who portrays the arms dealer Boro, attempts to inject depth into his character, but it comes too late in the series to salvage the overall narrative.
FUBAR, the much-anticipated TV series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, disappoints fans seeking a return to his action-comedy glory days. While the show attempts to recapture the magic of True Lies, it falls short on multiple fronts. The relentless and unfunny attempts at comedy, lackluster action sequences marred by cheap CGI, and failed emotional connections all contribute to the show’s underwhelming performance.FUBAR may appeal to die-hard Schwarzenegger enthusiasts, but for viewers seeking a quality action-comedy experience, it fails to deliver.