Review: SyFy’s “Incorporated” is a Retread of Every Sci-Fi Film Since 1990


Incorporated Plot Summary:

In 2074, climate change has ravaged the world. Governments have collapsed, and a select few corporations have seized control of the world to save it from itself. The world, what’s left of it, is now divided into “safe” green zones where those who work for the corporations live, and “dangerous” red zones where there is no law. Ben Larson (Sean Teale) works for Spiga, one of the top corporations in the world, but there is something very unusual about this rather usual man.

World ravaged by the environment. Corporations take control of the world. There’s a massive divided between rich and poor. Our hero is a man divided two worlds.

Stop me if you’ve heard this story before.

INCORPORATED -- Season:1 -- Pictured: Sean Teale as Ben Larson -- (Photo by: Gavin Bond/Syfy)
Photo Credit: Gavin Bond/Syfy

Incorporated, which is produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, has been heralded by many as a series that really speaks to the state of the modern world. Some say it hits really close to home, and it’s a spot on commentary.

Stop it.

Incorporated is literally a retread of every utopian-but-really-dystopian movie we’ve been watching since 1990. Don’t believe me? Look at plot elements from the following films — Demolition Man, The Fifth Element, Gattaca, A.I., Out of Time, The Matrix — the list goes on. Same as Incorporated. Hell, you even saw this same type story in the NBC Universal universe with USA’s series Colony. The same plot is there – a way too perfect society is battling its seemingly seedy underbelly that’s filled with good people. We have a central character straddling the lines between both worlds.

There’s really nothing you haven’t seen here before. None of the story here is that compelling. The performances, outside of one, are rather bland. The premiere episode is poorly paced, and the special effects are about as mundane as you possibly can get.

Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy
Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/Syfy

Sean Teale is the lone bright spot here, and at times that isn’t saying much. Now don’t get it twisted — he’s the right actor to lead and carry this serious, it’s just the direction he’s given at times is terrible. We learn rather quickly that his character is a double agent, working for an undefined resistance movement based in the dangerous red zone. That’s fine, but unfortunately they seemed to have kept telling Teale to make this face to portray his discomfort with his dual identity. That face is basically the biggest “I AM GUILTY” face of all-time mixed someone who really, really has to go to the bathroom but can’t because he’s not allowed to. This facial expression is terrible, and really undercuts the fact Teale is a pretty solid actor.

His best moments come in the brief action sequences, where that look of “I gotta poop” leaves his face and he puts a guy’s head through a sink. That’s the character I want to see more of. Hopefully that will come in future episodes.

With that being said, this writer won’t be sticking around. Incorporated is about as paint by numbers a series as you can get. We’ve literally seen this movie before, and you can pretty much figure out how it’s going to end within the first 10 minutes.

Rating: 4 out of 10

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site’s podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites