‘The Peripheral’ on Prime Video: Sci-Fi Thriller is an addictive puzzle box

Nowadays, watching a show with hype line ‘from the creators of Westworld“Not necessarily an invitation to excitement. How much homework to follow Westworld His last devious seasons is absurd. The good news: If you’re still doing that homework, you can leave it now. Your time is best spent studying complex science fiction novels in The Peripheral.

The main reason for this: The new series from Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy is much easier to follow. This does not mean that it is not difficult to achieve. The outline: two worlds connected through advanced technology that are exploited by different factions for good and evil.

It helps that the events of The Peripheral unfold through the eyes of a young, blond female heroine – not unlike Westworld’s character Alice in Wonderland Dolores. Except for Flynn Fisher, he’s not a killer robot. It comes from the pages of The Peripheral Source Material: A 2014 novel by influential cyberpunk writer William Gibson. If you haven’t heard of Gibson, here’s how influential it is: He is the one who created the term cyber space.

Jacques Reynor in a uniform standing in a large room

Jack Reynor plays Flynn Burton’s brother.

Amazon Studios

Chloe Grace Moretz might be the perfect choice for the Flynne genre. Moretz is from Georgia, so her glowing Southern accent is what a Southern accent is supposed to sound like. Flynn and her brother, ex-Soldier Burton – Jack Raynor of Midsommar, whose accent also sounds realistic, although not from Georgia – live somewhere in rural America about 10 years in the future. They provide medicine to their ailing mother (Melinda Paige Hamilton) by working various jobs, including playing a virtual reality video game known as Sim.

Alternate reality pits Flynn and Burton against great rewards and even greater risks. The best part is seeing Flynne, a player who is more skilled than her brother, become the crucial pick for the grand plans of a secretive group in the game’s London future.

The best part is every time Flynn gets to grips with an innocent girl stuck in a small town. Unexpectedly, she will hit someone in the game, compensating for many weaknesses in real life, including being bullied by local drug dealers.

Contrary to Amazon’s recent efforts to slow science fiction – outer range And the night sky – The Peripheral contains more than a few ashes to fuel its narrative. More than one plot point was blown up in the first episode. Intense and sometimes harsh action scenes abound.

Chloe Grace Moretz in an elegant black dress and lipstick, standing on a London street next to Gary Carr

Flynn meets Wilf (Gary Carr) at Future London. Yes, it is mysterious.

Amazon Studios

However, for better or worse, the top Westworld-esque characters have found their way into this new world. Future London is populated by a crew of elegantly dressed people in authority who make superb gestures, gestures and gesticulations. While making a stark difference between future Londoners and rural Americans seems like an intentional choice, it can still sometimes bring on a smirk.

The worst (and funniest) part of The Peripheral is a character who says, “It can all be a little confusing, even to us. Perhaps we should stick to the most pressing matters at hand and trust that the minor details will fall into place.” This looks like Clemence Posey in Tenet (Directed by Jonathan Nolan’s brother Christopher) Saying, “Don’t try to make sense of it. Feel it.”

However, The Peripheral is not as overwhelming as it can be. Sure enough, alternate realities and unfamiliar technological jargon begin to pile up. You have to learn “stub” (parallel schedule); “Gaming” (playing games on behalf of other people); and a “peripheral” (a robot into which someone’s consciousness can be inserted). But the dual-display futuristic design is surprisingly simple and cleverly integrated. Some technology – digital arrows on the road that indicate where automated cars are going – must be present in our world. The grim reality looks like what Joey and Nolan have been striving to achieve with Westworld.

Sometimes, simplicity is really best. Joy and Nolan strike the right balance between lovable and relatable heroes and their journey through the rabbit hole of a maze of technology fails. In other words, The Peripheral evokes the right amount of mind-bending power, without capturing the illusion.

Episode 1 of The Peripheral arrives on Prime Video on Friday.

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