ARQ

5/10 Well after reviewing a string of terrible Netflix movies, I never thought I would be so relieved by a mediocre one as I was with this. “ARQ” impresses in some respects but ultimately leaves you wanting more as the memory of the movie slips away, as they do for the characters in this movie. I tend to enjoy bottled movies/shows, where the characters are confined to a limited space during the duration of our time spent with them. Here, 98% of the movie takes place in a single building, where we only briefly step foot outside of it for a few minutes. I liked the production design as it blurred a beat up, run down building with the futuristic technology at the center of the movie. The props looked high tech, the visual effects were surprisingly good for the minimal budget and the cinematography accomplished its goal. Violence and gore can often look cheesy with a lower budget but the violence that was here looked realistic and gnarly, which I enjoyed. The plot was simple enough and even though it has a time loop element like similar films do (“Groundhog Day”, “Edge of Tomorrow”, “Happy Death Day”, etc.), this movie never felt like it was ripping those films off in any way, which I appreciated. The score was also fairly well done and its vibes fit the movie well. The acting was nothing special but it also wasn’t bad either. It was mediocre, like the overall direction of the movie. As for the elements that brought the overall quality of the movie down, one of the biggest problems was the stupidity of the main, male protagonist. Despite having multiple chances to set things right due to the time loop, he makes so many brain dead decisions that eventually made me want to root against him. His stupidity was definitely a sour note for me, making him harder to stomach the further the movie went along. Some of the dialogue is a bit cheesy as the script ends up being pretty bland overall. We don’t get much in the way of character development (the villain is as one dimensional and generic as they come) and there is absolutely nothing in the way of emotional connections to these characters. Another problem is that the stakes feel so low. If our characters die, they can just come back so we never worry about them. They talk about an overarching war but since we know nothing about the war and don’t so much as get a glimpse into it, it kills any stakes or tension that may exist. In the end, there are some admirable qualities and writer/director Tony Elliott feels like a young film maker who has potential if he can continue to hone his craft. This forgettable sci-fi flick would be one I would skip in theaters but since it is a Netflix movie, you could stick it near the bottom of your queue and get to it when you get to it.

#AttackTheBlock2 / #LetsDoTheTimeWarAgain / #SuperLoopers / #TimeLapseOfJudgement / #anARQy / #SonnyBusiness

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