ARQ (Netflix Original)

This film was recommended to me as “a slow burner, but worth a watch”. And I have to say, that is pretty much the perfect summary for this movie. This is a thriller, so I’m not going to go into detail about the movie so as not to include any spoilers – this is definitely a spoiler free zone. What you need to know is, there is some kind of war going on, there is a machine that could possibly end the war, oh and there is a time loop going on.

arq movie poster

This film runs at just about an hour and a half so to be fair, you don’t get too much more detail of back story other than that. This film focuses on the “this is happening right now” and doesn’t worry greatly about how we got here. Which, for me I actually quite enjoyed. The great thing about this film is the unravelling of the situation. For the purpose of this film, I don’t actually really care how we got to this situation – I’m just intrigued by this time loop and what the hell is going on.

As I said, this film does take a little while to get going. As I guess you might expect from a time-loop scenario. Things do start to seem to get a little bit repetitive for the first few loops, and I was left wondering – where are we going from here? If you do end up watching this film – stick with it. This film does know where it is going, you’ve just got to bear with it while you get there. As with most good thrillers, there are plenty of ooooooohhhhh!” moments, as things start to make sense.

Due to the short nature and lack of backstory, the characters are little bit drab and it is at times a little hard to understand some motives and actions that they do, based on the information we have been given. But as I say, it is the loop situation which is the most interesting thing about the film, so the fact the characters lack a  little bit of depth isn’t a deal breaker.

For the keener eyes, there are some potential holes in the plot, but with the nature of this film, and it’s length, being bullet proof just wasn’t going to happen. There may be fantastic explanations in the heads of the writers for the question marks you have, but there isn’t the time or the need to throw these into the movie. Once you have seen the film, there are actually some pretty interesting theories kicking around the interweb to explain some of the possible holes. Needless to say, make sure you have the seen the film first before you check these out or you will spoil it. If you know the reveals before you watch the film, it really isn’t then worth watching.

It seems like this film has got modest ratings, and that is probably fair. At around the hour and a half mark, you don’t need to set aside a lengthy amount of time to watch this, so it is definitely worth the watch. Although this is not a classic, and I’m not sure how much re-watch value this one has, give it a go, and stick with it – they payoff you get when all is revealed is worth it.

6.5/10

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