Steve Jobs, while he may not be the number one influential person who brought computers to what we have today… It cannot be denied that this man was a visionary continued to send technology propelling at Mach 4 into the 21st century. Sadly Steve Jobs passed away in 2011 from complications involving pancreatic cancer. So needless to say whenever you have such an influential individual that has made such an impact on all of our lives and the conveniences that we as a society now enjoy, a biopic about the man’s life is something that I think all of us expected.
But to see that biopic come out a mere two years after the man’s death, starring That 70’s Show actor Ashton Kutcher, and it to be more of a bewildering spectacle then a respectful salute to the man it is supposed to be paying tribute… Well I don’t think there was any of us that was expecting that.
Jobs is one of those movies that will just leave you confused and bewildered as you sift through the muddled mess. From a personal standpoint, I know many people have a very positive image of Steve Jobs and hold him fondly and in high regard. But at the same time, this is a terrible movie, so I can see many people rightfully calling foul against the movies, while others try their best to defend the movie just because the idea of a bad movie being connected to the Steve Jobs name is something they do not wish to think about.
As in all biopics, this film features the life of Steve Jobs starting with his college years and leading to his return to Apple Inc. after he left the company in 1993 due to John Sculley being placed as chairman and CEO. Which of course would bring us to where we have Apple today.
The Acting Isn’t Terrible
As far as the ensemble is concerned, they really are not bad. Or at least there isn’t anything really wrong about their performances. I would call it a straight mediocre performance across the board with a few having a couple of inspiring moments thrown in between.
I have never been a big fan of Josh Gad, but he does a decent job playing Steve Wozniak and was the only character in the movie that was able to get a chuckle out of me for the few comic relief moments. So overall, it isn’t terrible. It isn’t great by any means, but it isn’t terrible.
The Portrayal of Steve Jobs
Now I personally never had the pleasure of meeting Steve Jobs or even be in the same room as the guy so I may not be the best judge of character for this… But all of that considered, If we are to believe this film, then Steve Jobs was a complete juvenile asshole who was persistent and lucky enough to have friends around him to help build his company. Now I’m sure this isn’t the guy, but Jesus this film writes him off as just a terrible vile human being who is only redeemable after he is booted from being the CEO and finds some sort of redemption in starting a family.
Ashton Kutcher himself gives a decent performance as Jobs, though he does much better imitating his mannerisms and played a better ‘older’ Steve Jobs then the guy that is presented through the majority of the film. But if I were to take this film to heart, I would almost want to toss my iPhone into the trash then own something by what this film considers and absolutely terrible person.
It Just Sort of… Ends (Spoilers)
This can be attributed to the poor pacing of that I talked about in the aforementioned segment, but it bares its own category. The entire time we are watching Steve Jobs transformation from this young man in college to the tech savvy man that we knew before his passing. It tales event after event in strange sorts of segments of his life (though he doesn’t age at all through the ages). Until it comes to an end. And how does the film end you may ask? With Steve Jobs creating the iPod and closing with where the opening begins? Nope. He buys out a couple of board members he doesn’t want on the project and then gives a speech before the scene cuts to credits.
… This ending isn’t so much inept as it is bewildering. It just feels like there was a good ten minutes of the film editted out for… reasons I suppose. It is very odd and it is very confusing way to end the film… Just the confusing cherry on top of the cake.
It is Poorly Editted, Horrendously Written, and The Focus is NOT on Jobs
As far as pacing is concerned and telling a story, this movie is pretty terrible. The film plots along, going over different moments in Steve Jobs life with very little rhyme or reason other then ‘this happened, here it is visually and chronologically’. I would even say that this is much less a movie about Steve Jobs and more a movie about Apple the company with Jobs just as a recurring character. There are very little scenes about Jobs life, how he truly felt about his parents, and the relationships that he had with the people that helped him create the company.
You have a movie that is supposed to be about Steve Jobs and it barely has anything to do with the man and who he was. I can understand that he was a perfectionist yes, but there is no connection with any of the characters. There is a big heart warming speech as the film draws to the third act where Wozniak quits Apple and is giving his heart felt goodbye to Jobs. This is supposed to be a powerful scene where Wozniak admits that he always wanted to be one of the guys and that making Apple was one of those times. Josh Gad actually gives a damn good performance… It is a shame that all of it is wasted on the fact that none of this is shown in the film. The entire time that Apple is run out of a garage, none of it focuses on the relationships of the others. It is just Ashton Kutcher screaming relentlessly into a phone that has to have one of the longest extension cords in history.
Then there are the various and sparce moments between Jobs and his girlfriend. Who’s name escapes me and I’m not going to look it up because I want to make a point of how little of an impact this character left in the film. If you are going to throw in a love interest, fine. People want to see romance, no matter how forced it is. But if it is going to be in there, then show it! The only time these two show any affection towards one another is directly after a scene where Jobs cheats on his girlfriend and then the next scene between them is him berating her for being pregnant and vehemently denying he is the father. It is all okay since she shows up at the end with the family, right? If you don’t have the time to put a romance in, than don’t put a romance in!
Out of all of this, the only ting I took away from the movie was a quick refresher course on the history of Apple. It is poorly editted, poorly paced, poorly written, and has little to nothing to do about Steve Jobs.
As far as movies go, this isn’t the absolute worst that I have seen this year. It is frustrating and confusing to watch a biopic of a man and see it just fail on every level that a movie can fail. It is poorly written, poorly paced, poorly directed, and is a film that is more about the history of Apple instead of Steve Jobs himself. While it may or may not make my top 5 worst movies this year, it is certainly fighting for a spot.
Final Score 1.5/5
So this week is a twofer because Tuesday I will be returning with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wrights’ recent film The World’s End. Until then, thank you so much for reading and I please like and subscribe if you enjoyed.