Time travel movies are always a good idea at the time. There is so much that can be done with them (actually pretty limitless), which is probably why they keep cropping up. ARQ is a Netflix-produced feature-length film about a couple who are apparently stuck in a time loop and assailed by masked attackers who are, presumably, after the technology that they have with them.
Robbie Amell (of The Tomorrow People fame and younger cousin of Stephen "The Arrow" Amell) plays Renton and Rachel Taylor (Jessica Jones's Trish Walker) is cast as Hannah.
Here is the trailer for your viewing pleasure:
So what can we tell from this short trailer about the film?
Right off the bat we see this futuristic clock that has a momentary glitch, providing us with the potential for time not behaving as it should. And so it is for this film, as the main protagonist, Renton, is caught in a time loop and — much like Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt were in Edge Of Tomorrow (a surprisingly good film) — return to a specific point in time every time they die. As we see here, Renton gets shot and then the next thing he knows he is waking up again. I'm pretty sure that the premise of trying to outwit the intruders by incrementally changing your behavior each time you replay the day will be the way that this goes, coming up against new hurdles each time you get past the previous one.
From the look of the trailer this will be a dark and claustrophobic affair. We only get the one glimpse outside of the building so it stands to reason that the majority of the action will be close-knit and there will be a great deal of inching closer to the goal, which should be complimentary to building tension.
In the brief glimpse we have of the outside, an arc is clearly visible, presumably with the Arq device at the center. Why is it here? Is it the area of influence that the device has? The truck at the top of the picture is parked right on the edge, so it is obviously visible at ground level. If this truck is the attackers' truck then they have some knowledge of the happenings and the power of the device.
What is The Arq? From descriptions, it is a futuristic power source, but it obviously has some kind of time-looping by-product after being used. Is Renton the mastermind behind this technology or is he merely looking after it? Slightly reminiscent of the film Primer in terms of the size and scope of the film: small lab creates ground-breaking technology that then causes bigger problems.
It is interesting to hear near the start (0:20) that Renton questions whether Hannah was followed to their location. Is she complicit in this attack or just an unfortunate coincidence?
Why are the attackers wearing gas masks and why does Renton have a gas mask on later in the trailer? Could it be that we are in a post-apocalyptic world where the outside is damaged beyond being livable? So many questions that can only be answered by watching the film (fortunately, it is only two weeks until the release on Netflix — September 16th), in case you hadn't noticed the Netflix branding throughout the trailer!
There are repeated shots of this device with it's timer flicking forward and backward. To me it looks like a bomb with all its wiring and parts. What do you think? Is it a fail-safe to get out of the time loop or just another visual representation of time not behaving as it should be?
Everything seemed to be going well in this trailer. The situation is set up fairly well, the interest in what is going on is there, you get a grasp of the concept and then we see this at the end:
Now I have no idea what the purpose of this robot/machine is. It appears to be a later part of the film due, but it seems a little out of context to the rest of the trailer. Nevertheless, I am interested to see how it is going to fit in.
Netflix is creating more and more of it's own original content these days and, for the most part, it is of a decent quality. I hope this continues that trend.
What did you think of the trailer for ARQ?