To look or not to look? Evaluating FUBAR, the series directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger on Netflix

Netflix continues its path of releasing productions for all kinds of audiences, staying at the top of the streaming chain despite recent restrictions that may have caused the loss of millions of users along the way. Now, they have brought back a big star to re-engage a part of their audience: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The action hero, known for his role in Terminator, has returned in a big way with a series that mixes action and comedy to make the most of the bodybuilder’s charisma. The series has just been released and an important part of the critics have already had access to it, obtaining a 49 on Metacritic, which places it on the verge of approving. But Is this series worth it or should we let it go like in the case of Citadel?

Another great action comedy in the style of Dangerous Lies

“Everywhere I go, people ask me when I’m going to do another big action comedy like Dangerous Lies. Well here it is. This is how Schwarzenegger justified the creation of this series during the promotion of FUBAR. The program intends to maintain the tone of said film: a strong dose of action balanced with a subtle comedy to delight the audience.

the series too is inspired by movies like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and in fact, it bears a certain resemblance to the tone achieved by Apple TV+’s Ghosted, the recent movie starring Ana de Armas and Chris Evans. However, its synopsis takes us into a story that delves into a relationship much more intense than romantic: the bond between a father and a daughter.

In FUBAR, a father (Schwarzenegger) and a daughter (Monica Barbaro) have worked as CIA agents for years, but in secret. Each of them has kept their involvement in the CIA hidden from the other, which has resulted in their entire relationship being based on one big lie. However, upon discovering each other’s CIA involvement, the pair are forced to work together as partners and, within the context of explosive action and espionage, discover who they really are.

The synopsis leads us to a mixture of affection and confusion that works well in the first few episodes. FUBAR certainly has an explosive start that makes it clear that Schwarzenegger is still in top form.. However, as the plot progresses and the father-daughter relationship, which is quickly resolved, fades into the background, the series deflates like a balloon.

Nick Santora, the showrunner of the series and creator of Prison Break, builds a very interesting world in which the two protagonists blend perfectly, reminiscent of the relationship between Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us. However, everything is resolved quickly and without going too deeply into the characters, always prioritizing the action and the plot itself.

This makes the series, despite having eight episodes, not fully convincing. Soon, he loses all interest in his narrative. He stop focusing on the characters to go furtherand it loses that usual series feeling with well-developed characters that keeps you glued to the screen no matter what.

FUBAR, like Ghosted recently, It’s a case of “close, but no cigar.” It is a series that knows how to play its cards well but spends them too quickly, allowing a plot that never becomes interesting enough to outshine it. However, the connection between the two leads is evident, and it’s a shame that it hasn’t been explored more in that regard.

Perhaps, with a better resolved plot and in a movie format—where it is clear that Schwarzenegger shines the most— FUBAR would have been a new hit for Netflix. But beyond the Terminator actor’s involvement, it doesn’t seem like he’s going to be among the most viewed or popular on the platform by any means. It is, in essence, another Netflix disposable audiovisual product; one that entertains you for a while but never fully realizes its potential.

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