The Imitation Game: Review / by Kenneth Buff

I have mixed feelings about The Imitation Game, and that's due to the fact that the film is a mixed bag. On the plus side we have Benedict Cumberbatch in a role he's very comfortable in, the outsider genius who feels disconnected from society, only unlike in the BBC's Sherlock, there's no one to play off this aloofness for laughs, instead we're left feeling a little cold through most of the film. The rest of the cast is also mostly good, despite the occasional cheesy or overly emotional dialogue. The sets are also mostly good, if we don't count the poor CGI found in the unnecessary war scenes—they're there to remind us what's at stake if the decoders don't crack Enigma. The scenes of London in rubble work much better for this.

Now to the bad. The film doesn't really know what it wants to be. It's pushing in too many directions. Is it an awkward romantic comedy? A serious WWII drama? Or a feel good Christmas movie? By trying to be all of these things, it really comes out as none of them. And the ending message that is displayed in text after the film—though admittedly powerful—narratively comes out of no where. That is to say, it doesn't mesh with the rest of the film. It leaves you feeling grim, and wishing for more information about the man, Alan Turing. If only the film could have provided it.