The humor alleged in the Arnold Schwarzenegger-led Netflix action comedy series “FUBAR” is so grisly, so corny, so groaning, we actually feel the pain of Arnold and his talented ensemble cast as they deliver one clunker from one line after another.
Consider the scene where veteran CIA agent Luke (Schwarzenegger) and Luke's daughter Emily (Monica Barbaro), who is also a government spy, are informed that they should undergo therapy with Dr. Louis Pfeffer (Scott Thompson) and it has to be noted we already have “Dr. Pfeffer” in the “Hamptons” episode of “Seinfeld” nearly 30 years ago, but okay. Because “Dr. Pfeffer” almost sounds like “Dr. Pepper,” Luke and Emily crack a pop joke, namely:
Emily: “Together I think we can climb this mountain, don't we?”
Pfeffer: “I see what you're doing, you put the name of the soda in the conversation.”
Luke: “I don't know what you're talking about. You must be Fanta-sized”
Emily then gave the doctor her finger and said, “Shasta.”
What? What are we doing here? I find myself wishing the original Terminator would visit this particular timeline only to have the script scrapped so everyone could start all over again, this time with originality.
The dusty premise of Schwarzenegger's first scripted TV series has Luke on the verge of retiring from the CIA when he finds out his daughter Emily is also in the organization. During this time, neither one knew what the other did for a living. As Luke's colleague Barry (Milan Carter) explains to Emily, “The CIA created the China Wall, so you would never know me or your father worked for the corporation. They set it up in a place we never walked past, which was nearly impossible since you both work in the same regional office.”
The main storyline in “FUBAR” (as in F- – -ed Up Beyond All Recognition) involves the agency's attempt to stop megalomaniacal paramilitary leader Boro (the over-the-top Gabriel Luna) from gaining control of a “nuclear briefcase,” aka “a WMD that can be taken anywhere, “Luke said. And get this: Luke kills crime boss Boro's father back in the day, and then Boro grows up to become a more violent and bloodthirsty psychopath, which is basically the same plot we got in “Fast X”, how about that!
When we endure unfunny references to “Lilo & Stitch,” “Starsky & Hutch,” “Ocean's 8” and “Frozen” and cringe at lines like, “They've got more problems than Sports Illustrated,” 1980s-level sitcoms subplots include Luke installing surveillance equipment in his ex-wife's boyfriend's house, which hardly makes Luke a sympathetic character; Luke growls and shoots a threatening glare at Emily's boyfriend (Jay Baruchel), who doesn't know Emily is in the CIA, and I would be remiss not to mention a sequence in which Arnold's old friend, Tom Arnold, appears as a seemingly deranged man. who performed excruciating medical procedures on unanesthetized abductees.
“FUBAR” is a violent, nearly laughless disaster filled with cheesy sexual humor, standard edition action sequences, and paper-thin characters. Get on the helicopter and quickly run away from this one.