Arnold Schwarzenegger on Netflix: is the return of the Terminator star a success?

Is the Netflix series “Fubar” with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the lead role worth a look?


When a father and daughter find out they’ve been secretly working in the CIA for years, they realize their entire relationship is a lie and they don’t know each other at all. Forced to team up, this unlikely duo is embarked on dangerous missions on the international espionage scene.


Everyone knows the name Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bodybuilder, movie superstar, governor of California… The determination of the native of Austria allowed him to live his wildest dreams, and it is today as an interpreter of a television series that the icon of cinema returns to us. 75 years of action.

If he has spent most of his career in the cinema, Schwarzy has nevertheless signed a few memorable appearances on television. In particular in an episode of the soap opera Les Rues de San Francisco at its beginnings, or more recently in the sitcom Mon oncle Charlie. Also note his role in the episode The Exchange Tales from the Crypt, which he directed himself.


At his side, Monica Barbaro embodies Emma, ​​the daughter of the main character. The revelation of the film Top Gun Maverick proves on this occasion his ease for filming action scenes, and his father / daughter duo with Schwarzenegger works rather well.

The shock team that accompanies the two heroes of the series is made up of bad-ass Travis Van Winkle, Milan Carter in the skin of computer genius Barry, or comedian Fortune Feimster (Dear White People ) as the formwork brute Ruth.

The big bad of the Boro series is played by Gabriel Luna. Well known to fans of The Last of Us, the Texan actor had already crossed paths with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the past during the filming of Terminator: Dark Fate.


Schwarzy and his team of schmocks


After Sylvester Stallone in Tulsa King, here is Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming the star of a television series. Sworn enemies in the 80s, the two superstars of action cinema have since buried the hatchet to collaborate on several occasions, notably in the Expendables trilogy.

In the cinema, both have embodied two visions of the action hero. For Schwarzenegger, a model of an invincible and ruthless warrior like a machine, while Stallone always wanted to put the humanity of his characters at the forefront.

Their respective careers are also distinguished by Schwarzy’s desire to collaborate with renowned filmmakers (James Cameron, Paul Verhoeven, John McTiernan), while Sly has always preferred to work with lesser-known directors in order to maintain control of films than he was turning.


Schwarzenegger has a message to get across

A trend that was completely reversed for their television debut. While Stallone has surrounded himself with two prestigious screenwriters, Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire) and Taylor Sheridan (Yellowstone), it is under the direction of Nick Santora (Scorpion) that Schwarzenegger unveils his very first series: Fubar.

With this action-comedy, the former governor of California’s objective seems twofold. First of all, reconnecting with the tone of the entertainment cinema of the 90s (the series is compared by Schwarzy to his film True Lies). But also to explore a more autobiographical part, and in particular to evoke his family problems.

The efforts of the main protagonist of Fubar to redeem himself in the eyes of his daughter, but also of his ex-wife, are reminiscent of the private setbacks of Schwarzenegger, pushed to divorce following the revelation of his extra-marital differences (and the birth of an illegitimate son).

Difficult to know if with this series, the latter wanted to make his my culpaor on the contrary provide a justification for his misconduct. “It’s not our business” to quote a famous sketch from The Unknowns, although this autobiographical aspect of the series is rare enough in Schwarzenegger’s career to be highlighted.


The big bad of the series, played by Gabriel Luna

Where did the “real” Schwarzenegger go?

Obviously designed just for hardcore Schwarzy fans, Fubar fails to strike the right balance between comedy and action. The episodes are much too long (50 minutes on average), and the dialogues lazy and clumsy, without ever including the famous punchlines that made the success of his greatest films.

Schwarzenegger is a decade younger in the series. But while the illusion was successful in the Expendables, because surrounded by other “grandpas” of the action, the latter makes the mistake of collaborating with young actors, which will only have the effect of underlining his age. advanced (75 years).

In the end, his character spends more time rolling mechanics than proving to us, with supporting images, that he is indeed a tough-as-nails secret agent.


Schwarzenegger, aka Grandpa Gunslinger

We can not say that Fubar will leave a stain in the filmography of the former bodybuilder. If it is not at all successful, the series is not totally shameful either. But the real disappointment will surely be not having seen pure Schwarzy on screen, but a more sanitized and conventional version of theaction hero worship.

The viewer can only think back with nostalgia to the blockbusters of the 90s, but Fubar seems to confirm once and for all that this era is now completely over. Looking too much in the rearview mirror, the series wants to be nostalgic but unfortunately ends up falling into the trap of old-fashionedness.

The first season of the Fubar series with Arnold Schwarzenegger can be found now on Netflix.

Discover the list of all the series currently available on the platform!

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