ARQ had its world premiere at TIFF and was sufficiently popular that Sean and I tried but failed to get tickets. It’s a damn good thing we didn’t get them because if I had paid money to see this piece of shit, I’d be in a REAL rage right now, the likes of yet we’ve yet to see on Assholes Watching Movies.
It sounds promising on paper: a dystopian thriller meets sci-fi Groundhog Day. The protagonists, Renton and Hannah, keep waking up in bed when a bunch of bad guys burst in on them. Things don’t go well. But every time Renton gets shot in the face, they wake up in bed again, to do it all over, though not necessarily with better results.
The gimmick wore off cinematically long before it evaporated on screen. Even screwball Bill Murray cottoned on to the trick quicker than this guy. The bad guys are ostensibly there to steal scripts, but it’s soon evident that Renton’s invention, the ARQ, is much more valuable…and it’s inconveniently causing a time loop.
I mentioned before that we failed to get tickets. How then did we see it? It’s on Netflix. That’s right. Just a few days after making it’s $25-a-head, world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, it’s airing on Netflix for free. Even at that low price, though, it isn’t worth it. The dialogue put me off immediately. It has the look and feel of the kind of television show I would never watch. Even worse, it ends like it’s the pilot of a TV show that hopes to continue this mystery in vague and infuriating terms for the next 6 years. It isn’t, though. It genuinely believes itself to be a whole movie. Don’t believe it, not for a second: ARQ is to be avoided at all costs. Keep swiping left.
Looking for something more satisfying on Netflix? Try