FILM REVIEW: Jobs

ashton-kutcher-as-steve-jobsWhen the sad news came that the Apple creator and tech wizard Steve Jobs had died, most people figured it would only be a matter of time before his life was turned into a movie.  With the popular book by Walter Isaacson released short after his death, a movie announcement followed.  West Wing & Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin would be in charge of the script, guaranteeing this studio backed film would be a must see.  But whilst almost two years later the Sorkin film is still being developed, another Steve Jobs film slipped out into the world.  And unfortunately this one stars Ashton Kutcher.

This story of Steve Jobs’, tells of his ascension from college dropout into one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century, through his initial tenure at Apple, his controversial ousting and his eventual return to what would become a golden age at the Palo Alto based company.

Very much an independently produced love letter, Joshua Michael Stern previously best known for his film Swing Vote with Kevin Costner (no, me neither) directs his own screenplay, in a film he produced and no doubt made the tea on as well.

And in a sentence that’s what’s wrong with jOBS… whist it flirts with being an interesting film , due to its TV movie of the week feel and overblown musical cues, it never quite makes it.  Even more so it makes the critical error of skirting around the ‘real’ Jobs, polishing the rougher edges that made the man what he was, and what he was liked and loathed for in equal measure.

If you have read Isaacson’s book (which I have), this film adds very little to the mix.  In fact what it does add is probably embellishment , rumour and supposition rather than fact and often shown through such rose tinted glasses (Steve is Good!  The Apple board were bad!)  that you’d think the renownedly difficult Jobs hardly ever put a foot wrong.

Also in compressing such a dense and event filled life, the film often skips over massive chunks of his story, leaving out the things that made Jobs the man he was, both good and bad.

It’s not all bad.  The cast is very good, not least Kutcher, who shares more than a passing resemblance  to his subject matter and manages to mostly drop the irritating ticks and traits that made his more recent career almost unbearable to watch. Whilst the film never shakes off it’s TV movie feel, the story it tells is an interesting one.  Just one that also could have been better served by a writer-director with a slightly less rose tinted view of events and people, with a willingness to do something less linear or narratively predictable (someone like Aaron Sorkin maybe!)

In short: If jOBS had been an Apple product, it would no doubt have been sent back for more refinement.  Well at least under the regime of Steve Jobs, anyway.

Rating: 2.5/5
Reporter: Phil Hobden

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One comment

  1. SilverFox /

    Shame – I was really hopeful for this, especially as Kutcher looks quite the part… I’ll wait for NetFlix to get it….

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