Fubar review: Arnold Schwarzenegger is back in the spy world in fun Netflix thriller

Luke Brunner (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in Fubar (Netflix)
Luke Brunner (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in Fubar (Netflix)
  • 📺 Where to watch Fubar: Netflix from 25 May

  • ⭐️ Our rating: 4/5

  • 🍿 Watch it if you liked: True Lies, Mission Impossible, Nobody

  • 🎭 Who's in it?: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Monica Barbaro and Gabriel Luna 

  • How long is it? 8 x 50 minute episodes

  • 📖 What’s it about? A C.I.A. operative on the edge of retirement discovers a family secret and is called back into the field for one last job.

Fubar might grab the attention with its edgy acronym and the Austrian Oak, but beyond the distractions of big screen legend Arnold Schwarzenegger making his small screen debut, this slickly-scripted spy romp from Netflix screams quality.

Created by Nick Santora (Most Dangerous Game) and directed in part by Phil Abraham (Daredevil), Fubar features Arnold Schwarzenegger as CIA operative Luke Brunner, who is days away from retirement when one last case brings him back into the game.

With his daughter Emma (Monica Barbaro), wife Tally (Fabiana Udenio), and soon to be son-in-law Carter (Jay Baruchel) all vying for attention – Luke gets alerted to an old South American adversary with deep connections to his undercover past.

Carter (Jay Baruchel) and Emma (Monica Barbaro) in Fubar. (Netflix)
Carter (Jay Baruchel) and Emma (Monica Barbaro) in Fubar. (Netflix)

What follows is a solid if predictable espionage thriller, which introduces audiences to stereotypical characters, who exchange pithy dialogue, get into tight spots, but come out smelling of roses having learned something.

With a back-up team of decent supporting characters including Barry (Milan Carter), Roo (Fortune Feimster), and Aldon (Travis Van Winkle), Fubar embraces every genre trope going without attempting any degree of subtlety.

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With a pantomime villain in drug lord Boro (Gabriel Luna), more interpersonal complications than any self-respecting writer can throw a stick at, and some farcical family conflicts, Fubar gains momentum after a slow opening episode which rarely lets up.

Aldon (Travis Van Winkle) and Roo (Fortune Feimster) in episode Fubar. (Netflix)
Aldon (Travis Van Winkle) and Roo (Fortune Feimster) in episode Fubar. (Netflix)

Between Schwarzenegger and Barbaro there is some genuine chemistry, which gives their on-screen relationship its essential friction, while elsewhere that all-important support team are also well developed.

With standouts from that ensemble including Milan Carter, who may give Barry a low-key geeky vibe, but keeps him relatable by stripping him of any street smarts.

Elsewhere, Travis Van Winkle comes up trumps as lady killer Aldon, who delivers a good line in self-deprecation without coming across as conceited — while the bone-dry wit of Fortune Feimster’s Roo proves the perfect comic relief.

Read more: Everything we know about Fubar

This makes Fubar feel like a real tag team effort across the board, ensuring there is more to this show than an A-list movie star with copious amounts of charisma.

Based on this evidence, audiences should tune in this May as Arnold Schwarzenegger is set to takes Netflix by storm.

Fubar might not be pushing the envelope in terms of what this A-lister can do, but it does cash in on that big screen legacy and give fans what they want.

Fubar is streaming on Netflix from 25 May.

Watch a trailer for Fubar