FUBAR – Hasta la Vista, Baby? Arnold Schwarzenegger Is a “Super Spy” Again…

TV SERIES REVIEW – Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a return to the action-comedy genre in Netflix’s new series, “FUBAR,” where he portrays a covert CIA agent whose daughter is also involved in the same profession. In the midst of the adventures of this two-generation spy family, they must grapple not only with saving the world but also with understanding and tolerating each other. However, the series fails to be as humorous and thrilling as it should be.



Schwarzenegger follows in the footsteps of his 1994 film, “True Lies,” in “FUBAR,” where he plays a famed super spy who devotes time and energy to combating international terrorists and keeping his job secret from his family. The twist here is that he now has a daughter who reveals to him that she is also working for the CIA. The storyline does not offer much novelty and seems more like a father-daughter variant of “True Lies.”



Father, Daughter Spies and Neither Knew About the Other


Schwarzenegger plays a CIA agent named Luke Brunner, who is about to retire. Luke aims to revive his marriage with Tally (Fabiana Udenio), whom he left 15 years ago due to his persistent absences – something he could not explain to her, being a secret agent. However, before he can begin mending his relationship, CIA director Dot (Barbara Eve Harris) persuades him to undertake one last task: neutralize Boro (Gabriel Luna), an arms dealer with whom he has a peculiar connection. It turns out that Luke killed Boro’s father and then tried to steer him on the right path as a secret benefactor. Boro concocts an evil plan: he wants to sell a portable nuclear bomb to other bad guys, and since he knows Luke (under an old alias), he gladly welcomes him at his base. However, what Luke finds there is not just a team of mercenaries, but his daughter Emma (Monica Barbaro), who claimed to work for a civilian organization. They are both furious at each other for the lifelong lies they’ve used to hide their identities and professions. If these deceptions weren’t enough to bind them as kindred spirits, the fact that they are both workaholics and neglect their loved ones surely would – especially Emma, who is in love with the bumbling elementary school teacher Carter (Jay Baruchel), who has no clue that his girlfriend is an Atomic Blonde-level super assassin spy.



When the “Spy-mistry” Is Missing


One of the biggest problems with “FUBAR” is the lack of “spy-mistry” between the two main spy characters, which is essential for this type of action-comedy. Schwarzenegger and Barbaro cannot convincingly portray a father-daughter duo who simultaneously love and despise each other. Their dialogues are formulaic and forced, their humor more cringe-inducing and tiresome than amusing. The series attempts to utilize references to Schwarzenegger’s earlier films and self-deprecating humor, but these don’t salvage the flat jokes and the plot deficiencies. Another weak point of “FUBAR” is its supporting characters, none of whom are memorable or entertaining; most of the time, they’re just irritating and exhausting. The worst may be Jay Baruchel’s character, Carter, who is Emma’s love interest and the primary comic figure in the series. However, Baruchel overacts his role and behaves so annoyingly that one can only pity Emma for being with him. Carter is a typical loser character who knows nothing about the world or women and spends his time collecting comic books and eating junk food. His obliviousness to Emma’s profession, despite several glaring signs, feels forced and unrealistic, and the jokes arising from it quickly lose their charm.



The Stakes and the Tension Don’t Hold


Another problem with “FUBAR” is that it fails to maintain suspense or interest due to low stakes and tension. The missions and threats the characters face aren’t compelling enough to grab the audience’s attention. Boro’s evil plan of selling a portable nuclear bomb is predictable and lacks complexity. As a result, the series struggles to maintain consistent intensity and suspense. Furthermore, the characters’ personal conflicts and relationship dynamics lack depth, and the series fails to make them feel authentic or engaging.

The biggest challenge for “FUBAR” is its identity crisis: it doesn’t know whether it’s an action, a comedy, or a dramedy. It tries to balance between all three, but the result is a disjointed narrative with lackluster action, uninspiring humor, and poorly executed drama. The series attempts to incorporate dramatic elements by focusing on the complicated relationship between Luke and Emma, their troubled personal lives, and their struggles to balance work and family. However, these elements don’t fit well with the series’ comedic tone and often feel forced and out of place.



Ah, “FUBAR” this…


Despite having the potential to be a fun and entertaining action-comedy, “FUBAR” is a disappointment due to its poor character development, forced humor, and lackluster plot. It fails to capitalize on the charm and charisma of Arnold Schwarzenegger, and instead presents a series that is frustrating to watch. While it could have been a refreshing change to see Schwarzenegger back in action with a new twist, the series fails to deliver on its promise. Unless you’re a diehard Schwarzenegger fan, “FUBAR” may not be worth your time. It’s a missed opportunity to showcase Schwarzenegger’s comedic and action prowess in a way that resonates with viewers.




Direction - 3.8
Actors - 5.2
Story - 3.2
Visuals/Music/Sounds/Action - 5.6
Ambience - 4.4



"FUBAR" is a weak action-comedy series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Monica Barbaro as a father-daughter duo of secret CIA agents. The series fails to replicate the success of Schwarzenegger's previous films, indulging in tiresome and awkward jokes, forgettable performances (excluding Schwarzenegger), and bland scenes, taking up 7-8 hours of our time if we let it. The series is recommended only for big Schwarzenegger fans who can overlook its flaws.

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BadSector is a seasoned journalist for more than twenty years. He communicates in English, Hungarian and French. He worked for several gaming magazines – including the Hungarian GameStar, where he worked 8 years as editor. (For our office address, email and phone number check out our impressum)

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