Arnold Schwarzenegger makes the logical transition from movie star to California governor to Netflix series with "Fubar," which is essentially a father-daughter remake of his 1994 James Cameron film "True Lies." With homage to its military nomenclature, it's a thin notion stretched across eight parts (and probably more) that seems messed up in mainly recognisable ways. This is the star's first series.
Similar to "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," the father and daughter in this situation were both hiding hidden lives before being compelled to work together by the CIA. Schwarzenegger's Luke Brunner is actually about to retire when he learns that his daughter Emma ("Top Gun: Maverick's" Monica Barbaro) was recruited years earlier, forcing him to postpone his plans to pursue a quieter life and win back his ex and her mother (Fabiana Udenio) after years of lying took a toll on their relationship.
With Carter (Jay Baruchel), a bookish and illiterate man who seems to ground Emma in that regard, Emma is somewhat uncomfortably treading in her father's footsteps, albeit there is also the little matter of all those terrible dudes she connects with in secret.
The series makes use of Schwarzenegger's innate likeability and talent for throwing slick one-liners while participating in acts of violence (see "Commando"), as well as executive producing Nick Santora ("Reacher") and Schwarzenegger. As an arresting super-spy, Barbaro more than holds her own—at least, when she isn't arguing with her father.
The jokey banter amongst the members of their crack squad, which includes his office-bound wingman (Milan Carter), whom Emma grew up calling Uncle Barry, does not help the fact that practically every beat of the programme has a nagging been there quality.
As proven by the Taylor Sheridan-produced dramas born from "Yellowstone," a stable that has drawn fellow tough men like Sam Elliott, Harrison Ford, and Sylvester Stallone, streaming has in a manner become the obvious terminus for major cinema performers once they reach a certain age. Schwarzenegger is a perfect fit for the attention-seeking Netflix, which has also ordered a docuseries on him called "Arnold," which will debut in June.
However, the presence of that second project just serves to emphasise the idea that "Fubar" is more simply tired than bad—an eight-hour "You might like" button for anybody who has recently watched a film from the star's prime.
However, the pairing of Schwarzenegger and comparable content in the less ratings-pressured constraints of streaming should be more welcoming. Of note, a CBS revival of "True Lies" was just scrapped. The highlights of this programme typically occur in its minor moments, thanks to Schwarzenegger and Barbaro, rather than the otherwise unremarkable narrative, despite the show's valiant efforts to keep viewers interested with its cliffhanger episodes.
The film "Fubar" doesn't take itself too seriously, as the title indicates, but if Schwarzenegger had to "be back," to paraphrase a certain persistent cyborg, it would have been nice if it had been in a more creative way.