At what point does the present get so grim that stories about how bad the future’s going to be hit a little too close to home?
The producers of Syfy’s “Incorporated” — which include Ben Affleck and Matt Damon — have to be hoping we haven’t hit that point yet. Because their vision of the future is ugly, indeed.
The year is 2074, and climate change has ravaged the earth, America in particular. The coasts are apparently gone, the good news (for us) is the only livable areas are around the Great Lakes. Still, that’s scarce consolation. Most Americans are now refugees.
Government appears to be gone, superseded by competing monolithic corporations with their own armies. If you work for one of these corporations, you get to live in the affluent-if-sanitized Green Zone; if you don’t, and the vast majority don’t, you scrounge for a living in the chaotic and dangerous Red Zone.
Ben (Sean Teale) lives in the Green Zone, working as an intelligence engineer for one of the corporations. He’s married to plastic surgeon Laura (Allison Miller), who just happens to be the daughter of Ben’s boss, Elizabeth (Julia Ormond).
There’s a problem, though. Unbeknownst to mother and daughter, Ben is a Red Zone type who managed to weasel his way into the Green Zone with the help of another Red/Green Zone type named Hendrick (Damion Herriman). And Ben has a hidden agenda.
All of which leads to intrigue, betrayal, spiffy special effects and sudden bouts of ultra-violence. The production values are high, the acting efficient, the story teems with twists and turns. But nothing like this could ever happen, could it? Could it?
Tom Long is a longtime culture critic.
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