REVIEW: ARQ (2016)

Release Poster - Netflix
Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a quick review of ARQ, a Netflix Original Film.

The newest Netflix Original Film – ARQ – is a time-loop science fiction film starring Robbie Amell and Rachael Taylor, and is directed by Tony Elliott – a former story editor and writer for the excellent science fiction show Orphan Black. It sees more one than character stuck in the time loop, and explores a single location in a post-apocalyptic world.

ARQ isn’t a must-watch, but I normally always enjoy films like this one. Groundhog Day, Source Code, and Edge of Tomorrow are all films I really enjoyed. ARQ is well-directed and pretty well-written but I don’t think it was executed all that well.

And it isn’t because of the low-budget feel of ARQ. It is just one location, there are only, like, a handful of characters, and the effects aren’t all that convincing.

Robbie Amell, who you may remember from The Flash or The Tomorrow People, plays the lead in the film, and I while I thought he did a solid job, I wasn’t sold on him being the character he was playing. Rachael Taylor did a better job of selling her relationships, but outside of those two performances there wasn’t really anything to be excited for. And I never really cared about the characters. The antagonists were especially disappointing.

The one thing that must not happen in time-loop films is that the story becomes monotonous. I was hopeful that the somewhat short runtime (almost 90 minutes) would help the film in feeling fresh and exciting. But it doesn’t really help, and, instead, ARQ feels unimportant and dull. There are some nice twists, though, so maybe that will keep you interested.

5.5 out of 10

– Jeffrey Rex

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