FUBAR on Netflix is a new series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. In fact, this is his first time doing a series. The story, however, feels like something out of one of his movies. Read our FUBAR series review here!
FUBAR is a new Netflix action, adventure, and thriller series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. This is his first time doing a series, so it is quite a scoop for Netflix. There are eight episodes in the series and when it’s good, I was completely on board with it.
However, it also feels like this is a series that was still trying to find its own style as it progressed. The story is like something out of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie where action and comedy drive a thriller plot forward. Entertaining, yes, but also a bit all over the place.
Continue reading our FUBAR series review below. Find it on Netflix from May 25, 2023.
A familiar plot
In FUBAR, we’re introduced to Luke Brunner who is just finishing his last assignment before retiring as a CIA agent. This in itself sounds like the beginning of many action comedies.
What comes next, sounds like a hybrid of Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Arnold’s own True Lies plot. Yes, the very same True Lies where he was married to a character played by Jamie Lee Curtis who had no idea her husband had such an interesting profession.
And like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, where a married couple has no idea they are both working as assassins, Luke Brunner and his daughter Emma Brunner are about to discover that they are both CIA agents.
Upon learning that they’ve both been working secretly as CIA Operatives for years, they also realize that they really don’t know each other. They only know the personas they have created and show at home. However, while working, they are equally efficient and infamous.
Instead of retiring, Luke and Emma are forced to team up as partners. Again, not a surprising twist. Then again, how could it be when it’s the actual plot of the series?!
I love Arnold Schwarzenegger in action and comedy
For me, Arnold Schwarzenegger has always been both an action and comedy star. Sure, he often plays the “straight man” in a comedy setting, but it works really well. He’s always playing characters that might try to tell jokes, but never really manage to land the punchline.
It works perfectly because he has always leaned into that. And it still works here in FUBAR. However, there are also quite a few comedians involved and while their comedy moments may work, the more serious lines also come across as comedy.
This is a surprisingly big problem for FUBAR. Especially when their lines fall flat right after we’ve watched people getting killed in brutal settings. The balance is off somehow.
I do, however, really enjoy seeing Monica Barbaro as Emma Brunner. The daughter of CIA legendary agent, Luke Brunner (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and also already a legend in her own right. The two have amazing father-daughter chemistry and banter, which helps the story a lot.
Also, Gabriel Luna is amazing as the villain. Forget about silly one-liners or going for the easy laugh, his character, Boro, is the kind of bad guy you’d see in Mission Impossible or a James Bond movie. You’ll probably recognize Gabriel Luna from Terminator: Dark Fate or HBO’s The Last of Us.
Watch FUBAR on Netflix now!
Nick Santora is the creator of FUBAR which is right up his alley. Previously, Nick Santora wrote and produced series such as Prison Break, Scorpion, and Reacher. This series has a lot of the same elements.
Directors include Phil Abraham and Stephen Surjik. Phil Abraham previously directed the Jack Ryan series as well as quite a few horror series. These include The Strain, Bates Motel, and Castle Rock. Stephen Surjik also directed series like The Umbrella Academy and Person of Interest.
Officially, FUBAR is described as a series that “tackles universal family dynamics set against a global backdrop of spies, action, and humor”. I can’t argue with that definition of the plot and series, as it delivers on just that. However, the comedy part in particular could use a few more tweaks.
Series such as The Night Agent and The Recruit manage to balance the action and spy-thriller-to-comedy ratios much better. Especially The Recruit excelled at getting this balance right. Still, FUBAR is a good choice for a day of total relaxation (or, you know, nurturing a hangover).
FUBAR premieres on Netflix worldwide on May 25, 2023.
Creator: Nick Santora
Directors: Phil Abraham, Steven A. Adelson, Holly Dale, Stephen Surjik
Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Monica Barbaro, Milan Carter, Gabriel Luna, Travis Van Winkle, Fortune Feimster, Fabiana Udenio, Jay Baruchel, Barbara Eve Harris, Aparna Brielle, Scott Thompson, Andy Buckley
When a father and daughter learn that they’ve each secretly been working as CIA Operatives for years, they realize their entire relationship has been a lie and they truly don’t know one another at all. Forced to team up as partners, the series tackles universal family dynamics set against a global backdrop of spies, action and humor.
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