Joshua Michael Stern
Ever since the late and great Steve Jobs passed away 2 years ago, I’m pretty sure I was one of those people who called the fact that they’ll make a movie about him. But a year later we instead got a biographical novel by Walter Isaacson about his life. We can all agree that after reading that novel, there is great potential that this will be brought to life very well with the right people. This film is Joshua Michael Stern’s shot at bringing one of the greatest innovators of our time be brought to life in film for us to delve into the private life of Steve Jobs himself. Instead we have a straightforward yet very simplified biography that tethers away on the potentials of the different stories they are telling.
Conflicts and drama ensues with Joshua Michael Stern’s Jobs as it tell the real life story of Steve Jobs (a surprising performance by Ashton Kutcher), beginning with him being a drop out student into one of the greatest innovators and visionaries of the 20th Century.
Like most “true to life”/biographical films the studios will obviously have liberties over that story. From past biographical films, most changes do work and most of the time it would feel genuine than it is “Hollywood-ized”. The problem with Jobs is that, the story felt lacking. There was a scene where Ashton Kutcher quotes “let’s make the small things unforgettable” and yet the film barely makes the big and small ideas be what is promised.The film felt like one direct line and yet there is a large gap between scenes that felt empty.
Unlike the Social Network where the film would only tell the story of how the most popular social network came to be and what happens to Mark Zuckerberg behind the scenes (or court houses). Jobs, on the other hand tell everything in the range of 22 years of Steve’s lifetime. The film is very ambitious on the significant events of Steve Jobs’ life but instead the movie felt like they were rushed cliff notes; They would bring up one idea and rush it to move on to another idea without any impact to the story or the characters at all.
As an example the film brings up his biological mother but instead the writing made it metaphorical when he was under the influence of drugs as he look up to the clouds. Another would be the Microsoft and Apple rivalry, a topic that could’ve been a large plot point and an impact in Steve’s life would instead be done through a phone call and soon enough the film never brought it up again (along with him screwing over Apple’s founding members and his ex-wife along with his biological daughter). There was never a sense of time as well. From the first hour you’d be in 1974 and the next 20 minutes would be 1984 already. I never felt Steve Jobs’ growth as a human being, I never felt the importance of the company or why their tech matters (I dare you to drink every time they say IBM in this movie), nor did I feel his relationship with the characters around him because of how rushed the movie was. It would be both the directing or writing fault of the film. Maybe it’s also because they don’t have the rights to the biographical novel and they end up doing what they have.
Despite the film’s lackluster story, the performances were just “alright”. Ashton Kutcher did a good enough impression of Steve Jobs, just from the distinct walk and how he say vowels was very much spot on, he played the Steve Jobs The Hippie Jesus just right but the businessman Steve Jobs - not so much. I would've liked to see Jason Schwartzman play him but Ashton Kutcher was still good in the role. I do like how he can do roles like this than being "the party guy" in every movie/tv show. There were numerous articles and even in the book brought up on the times where he would lose his cool and how people would label him as an “asshole” because of how hard he is to work with despite his approachable appearance. It was done here in the movie but like most ideas of the film that brings up, it wasn’t executed or handled properly. Him being an asshole was overbearing in this film (it took over a huge portion of the film). For the most part it was interesting but never did I feel the growth of the person because of the large gaps of the film. I think the other ones who stood out in this movie as well were Josh Gad, Dermont Mulrony and even J.K. Simmons.
Jobs has potential to be one of the best true to life stories/biopics especially with all of the material it is carrying, instead the film took a rather lazy route for it to rushed and unexplained, though the performances did save this from being a bigger disaster. If you’re an Apple fan and want to know more about Steve Jobs, I suggest you buy Walter Isaacson’s biographical novel than seeing this. If you were patient for the releases of the Iphone's new generation every year then I’d wait on something worth your while for a second generation of a Steve Jobs film written by Aaron Sorkin, adapted from the book by Isaacson with Steve Wozniak’s seal of approval for that project.
+ALRIGHT YET SPOT-ON PERFORMANCES
+A COUPLE OF MOMENTS
-BIG ON IDEAS, TERRIBLE EXECUTION
2/5 - MEH!