ARQ is a 2016 timeloop sci-fi thriller written and directed by Tony Elliott and distributed through Netflix Studios.
Set in a dystopian future where food is now scarce and a company called Torus operates with huge levels of control, with the only resistance is through a group known as the Bloc. Its stars Robbie Amell as Renton, a former military weapon designer, who has fled the company with his latest creation the ARQ. The ARQ is an attempt at a perpetual motion device which he had hoped would end the energy crisis that the world is facing.
Along with Hannah, played by Rachael Taylor, he wakes just before a group of masked raiders take him hostage and hold him and Hannah in his laboratory as they look for food and money in his home.
However, what begins to happen is a time loop straight out of the book of Groundhog Day and Edge of Tomorrow. Through this, Renton begins to discover who the raiders are, their plans and the true power of the ARQ.
In all honesty, if I say anymore, it will eat into the twists and turns of the film itself, but a healthy ‘don’t overthink the plot’ approach may come in handy for the details of the time looping.
The film operates with a low budget and to its credit manages a lot with it. With its small setting and cast it creates an interesting premise and delivers well against it. For his feature film debut, Elliott has made a promising start.