ARQ is the latest Netflix original and this one offers horror and sci-fi in a cool time loop thriller!
Netflix has given us the amazing Stranger Things and released Hush for the world to enjoy, plus now we get the sci-fi movie ARQ. Really, Netflix does seem to be on a crazy roll, and while ARQ isn’t as awesome as Stranger Things, it really is a very exciting watch. Especially, if you love the whole time loop stick that Edge of Tomorrow introduced us to in the recent years.
In many ways, ARQ is much tighter because it all takes place in a pre-defined space of time, so whatever happens, time will reset itself over and over again at exactly the same second. This also means, that we don’t always know what’s happening since we’re following the character, Renton.
This offers up a whole lot more room to evolve and change the story, since we get smarter while he does. Other characters, however, can also know more than he does – or less. Obviously, this means there’s a constant battle against both time and other people, because Renton never really knows how aware the others are.
Because everything takes place within a very short amount of time, there’s a lot of repetition. This does get a bit annoying, but it helps you understand what Renton is going through. Plus, it never gets too bad!
Small but very good cast makes the story in ARQ work
The setting of the story means that we only see very few people and hear the same lines many times – again, that’s the premise of a time loop story, so I have no problem with it. I am, however, very happy that Robbie Amell and Rachael Taylor work so well to keep it fresh. Throughout the movie, things evolve and new plot twists manage to change Renton’s perspective on things. This also means we get to see the actors portray characters that develop over time, even if the situation is the same over and over again.
Rachael Taylor might be the one who has the most to work with, and she does a stellar job with her character, Hannah. Including letting us really understand her awful back story, which in turn helps us understand her.
This is a solid sci-fi thriller with a perfect runtime of 88 minutes. Enough to tell the story right, but not so much that we end up getting bored. It’s not a great movie, but it is a really good movie. And I’d love to see a lot more from the mind of Tony Elliott in this genre. If this is the beginning of a working relationship with Netflix, then you certainly won’t hear me complain. Though I’ll gladly admit, I could’ve watched ARQ in a dark movie theater and been very happy, as well!
ARQ is a Netflix original, so you can watch it on Netflix worldwide. And you definitely should.
Director: Tony Elliott
Writer: Tony Elliott
Cast: Robbie Amell, Rachael Taylor, Gray Powell
Trapped in a lab and stuck in a time loop, a disoriented couple fends off masked raiders while harboring a new energy source that could save humanity.