ARQ 2016 Movie Robbie Amell as Renton waking up

ARQ [2016]

Time loop movies are a thing now and ARQ is one of the better ones. Featuring a gripping atmosphere and great writing it’s definitely worth watching. We follow a guy who keeps reliving the same morning where a group of robbers break into his house. I will leave it at that because there are a lot more to the story and I don’t want to spoil anything. It’s full of twists and surprises with the constant tension of time running out before the loop starts again. It never got boring which something you have to admire in a movie like this. Especially since this is Tony Elliott’s debut. The story unfolds as naturally as it can and it takes you on this intense ride that I’m certain you’ll enjoy.

Despite the budget of just under $2 million, ARQ looks and feels great. These are one of the advantages of setting your story in one carefully crafted location. Although there are some exterior shots that look pretty good. I loved how the ARQ machine itself looks like it’s truly something revolutionary and yet simplistic in nature. The worldbuilding and the background story seem realistic and believable. Moreover, they add this sense of authenticity to the atmosphere and make you think about our future. Mostly because the chances are pretty solid we will end up with some version of these catastrophic elements. The bleak and familiar future showcased in so many science fiction movies.

The thing we all knew was going to happen, finally happened, all the energy sources on Earth have been exhausted. Ruthless corporations now rule the world enveloped in a new kind of war, a war for energy. Torus corporation is the biggest and meanest one, opposed by the Bloc, freedom fighters collective. Renton, a recluse living in a decrepit house just woke next to his girlfriend Hannah, when a group of robbers took them hostage. They are looking for money and other valuables, however, Renton has a feeling there’s more to this…

The relatively unknown cast led by Robbie Amell did a tremendous job. Their performances were spot-on and pulled you even more into the story. You actually cared about the characters and felt for their fucked up destinies and choices. Not too much though, as this is more of a thriller focused on the time loop gimmick. After all this praise, I also have to say that there are a couple of plot holes and forced scenes. Nothing major and nothing that would tank the movie but they’re still there. This is an exciting and engaging movie that’s not aiming for perfection. Plus, it’s available on Netflix which makes it really easy to find.

Finally, if you’re looking for movies like ARQ, I recommend you check out Primer, Boss Level, Blood Punch, and Edge of Tomorrow. You can also take a look at our Rabbit Reviews selection of Time Travel and Time Loop Movies. And if you want to go fully down the Rabbit Hole try to comprehend the German television show Dark. Enjoy.

Director: Tony Elliott

Writer: Tony Elliott

Cast: Robbie Amell, Rachael Taylor, Shaun Benson, Gray Powell, Jacob Neayem, Adam Butcher

Fun Facts: When Sonny is speaking to Mobius Command around the 39:00 minute mark, he mentions “Operation Riverrun.” This is a reference to James Joyce’s “Finnegan’s Wake,” (1939). The last sentence of the novel is a fragment, and completes the first line of the novel, forming a closed loop.


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