Friday, January 13, 2017

Over 3 Paragraphs: Arq

2016, Tony Elliot (writer Orphan Black) -- Netflix

It's like Groundhog Day meets ___________.

Fuck, I hate that comparison. ANY movie with a time loop involved gets compared to Groundhog Day, like there were never any other stories of such produced before Bill Murray got caught in his moral dilemma. But yeah yeah, I know, appeal to the masses. But what I liked so much about Arq was that it was NOT a mass appeal movie!  This is an obvious low budget scifi movie, but not in the way you think. The production values and attention to detail are quite high, they were able to keep the budget low because of the inherent plot -- a "single" location and small cast that just keeps on being used over and over and over and over. The end result was incredible!

But I may be biased, as I love time travel stories.

Renton (Robbie Amell; The Flash) wakes up in bed with Hannah (Rachael Taylor; Jessica Jones); before he fully awakens, three men smash their way into the room and take the two hostage. Renton dies trying to escape. And then he awakens again, with vague recollection of that intro loop. What continues, loop after loop is an intrigue of corporate dominance, terrorism, technology gone wrong and personal history. Each loop reveals a bit more, as Renton learns what he can accomplish. And then, when he brings Hannah into it, things go awry.

This movie takes place in a world 20 minutes into the future. A massive corp called Torus owns everything, a terrorist / revolutionary group called The Bloc fights against them. The ARQ is Renton's machine, one made for endless power supply. Both sides want it. That is why Renton and Hannah keep on waking up in a bedroom as some invades his house, well why is the fatal flaw in the design of the ARQ. It's not that Renton wants the Evil Corp to have the power, but he's a scientist in love with his machine. The Bloc invaders are not exactly without their own agenda, not merely seeking the ARQ for the Good Guys. Renton has to play each loop to reveal a bit more, to determine what he can accomplish, before they decide to turn off the machine and end the loop, or not.