By Dave B.
ARQ (Netflix) takes place in a near-future dystopia where the world lacks the ability to produce cheap, abundant energy and an evil corporate giant, TORUS, is close to achieving global domination. Renton (Robbie Arnell), a former employee of TORUS and his ex-girlfriend Hannah (Rachel Taylor) are awakened by intruders after seeing each other for the first time in years. During the home invasion, Renton is killed, but awakens with memories of his death and is forced to live the day again...and again...and again.
It’s hard to say that a movie with a similar premise as Groundhog Day is original, so I won’t bother trying to do so. What I will say however, is that ARQ manages to be relatively entertaining and interesting, despite repeatedly showing slightly different variations on the same sequence of events. I guess the best way that I can describe this movie is “average”. There isn’t anything particularly spectacular or particularly objectionable about it. My one significant qualm with it is that a solution to the cycle that our protagonists find themselves in may seem obvious to viewers immediately, but even then, it’s one of those situations where the solution understandably only becomes obvious to the characters in hindsight and by that time, it’s too late for them to implement it.
Overall ARQ is nothing special, but it’s not terrible. I’m going to go ahead and recommend it for one reason: unlike with most time travel movies, I wasn’t able to detect any obvious paradoxes. Yes, that’s a low bar, but most time travel movies are riddled with logical impossibilities, so I’m giving credit to the writer of ARQ. If you have 90 or so minutes to kill and want to watch a time travel movie that is completely unchallenging, but nonetheless moderately entertaining and internally consistent, ARQ may be exactly what you’re looking for.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.