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Film / ARQ

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Renton (Robbie Amell), a scientist and runaway from the Torus Corporation, wakes up in bed next to his former lover Hannah (Rachael Taylor) as a group of masked men burst in and hold them hostage for Renton's stolen money. There are implications that the world is going through an apocalypse of some kind, including environmental collapse, and Renton is unwilling to let a bunch of thugs run away with his life's work, the ARQ. During the ensuing struggle, Renton is killed... and wakes up in bed. And the same thing happens all over again.


Tropes in this film

  • 20 Minutes into the Future: The movie is set during a time of global upheaval and environmental collapse, but the thugs are still using modern-day guns and gas masks.
  • After the End: Not quite there, but the planet is on the verge of becoming uninhabitable. The atmosphere and the water are toxic and poisoned, all animal life is extinct except for humanity, appples are extremely rare and implied to be extinct as well, many humans are dying of Kuru as human flesh is the only meat left, Australia destroyed itself in a nuclear war so intense that it will be 10,000 years before any human can return there and the Torus Corporation has conquered most of the former United States, having started the war that has left the planet on the verge of destruction.
  • Apocalypse How: The setting seems to have gone through a Class 1 and is on the verge of a Class 5, as all non-human animal life has gone extinct, with the birds being the last to go.
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  • Bottle Episode: The entire movie is one, with only a very short sequence near the very end of the movie taking place outdoors.
  • The Chessmaster: Sonny, once he becomes aware of the time loops, quickly turns into this and always seems to be one step ahead (although it's downplayed). It becomes most apparent when he realizes Grim is aware of the time loops, too… and lets him go anyway, anticipating his betrayal and using it to set up a trap.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Part of Hannah's backstory. She orchestrated the attack on Ren's house out of revenge, because he escaped while she got tortured for 6 months by Torus. She ends up regretting it when she finds out Ren never stopped looking for her.
  • Downer Ending: Renton and Hannah discover a video taken before any reset they can remember of them trying to pass on a message with Renton covered in blood and a crack in the glass writing board behind them before the Mega-Corp breaks in and kills them. In the ending, they realize that reseting the ARQ causes it to reboot instead and reseting the timeline along with their memories. There are thousands and thousands of similar reboots in a separate log. Renton is covered in Sonny's blood, the glass board is cracked from a gunshot and the Mega-Corp is breaking in as they decide to record a video... ...but see "Ray of Hope" Ending
  • Dystopia: Virtually every species of animal seems to be extinct, the air is toxic without breather masks, and the world is ruled by a corrupt Mega-Corp.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The whole point of the movie. Complicated when the home invaders start remembering the time loops too.
  • Hope Bringer:Hannah believes the ARQ can give the Bloc a chance to stop Torus' conquest of the world, but Ren refuses to let her have it for most of the film.
  • Hope Spot: There are multiple resets where things seem to go right only for the situation to turn sour very quickly.
  • La Résistance: Multiple characters have ties to “the Bloc”, which is this to the evil Torus Corporation. It’s actually an important plot point— Hannah joined up after Torus tortured her, and orchestrated the robbery of Ren’s stash to fund the Bloc's operations. Later, she vociferously campaigns for taking the ARQ to the Bloc to help them win the war.
  • Love-Interest Traitor: Hannah.
  • Mega-Corp: Torus Corporation is the largest corporation in the world, they have recently retaken Los Angeles and can remove people's citizenship. They're also the ones that started the war that has left the world in its current state. They have strong armies and Attack Drones.
  • The Mole: Sonny is the Torus agent Ouroboros 46, infiltrated in Hannah's Bloc cell to retrieve the ARQ and kill everyone in the house. When he saves Cuz from dying in the latter loops, he's also revealed to be another agent as well and one of Hannah's torturers when he starts singing the same Christmas song that was used on her.
  • Perpetual Motion Machine: This is why the ARQ is such a big deal—the time loop thing is just a side effect. Or not. It turns out the ARQ isn’t actually creating energy; it's just reusing the same energy over and over by resetting time when its fuel cells run out of juice.
  • Posthumous Character: Cuz dies 5 minutes before the movie begins. His death triggers the Stable Time Loop. When Sonny stops him from being this, the time loop continues.
  • Protect This House: Ren's goal, since the ARQ could solve the world's energy crisis or become a Doomsday Device because of its ability to loop time.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: Renton and Hannah are killed by the Mega-Corp just as they try to record the video which plays out almost exactly just like the previously recorded video they saw. The ARQ then reboots, reverting the 9-loop cycle again along with everyone's memories just like the previous thousands of times it has done so... but this time Hannah wakes up in shock, implying that she still remembers everything.


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