Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, Matthew Modine, J.K. Simmons
Directed by: Joshua Michael Stern
Written by: Matt Whiteley
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 2 hr 8 min
Let me get straight to the point, this is not a good biopic of the life and times of Steve Jobs. A mere 128 minutes devoted to telling the story about the founder of Apple Computers just isn’t going to work. Not when you try to cover his activities before the first Apple products rolled out of his foster parent’s garage in 1976, all the way to Steve Jobs’s triumphant return to Apple in 1997. It’s like the makers of this film just assumed the audience already knew a lot about the man, so decided to just present the highlights.
Luckily for writer Matt Whiteley, I personally did know a lot about Apple and Steve Jobs, so I was able to fill in many of the blanks. I was however, left dumbfounded as to why certain aspects of his career were left out of this film. To watch this film you’d think Apple’s and Microsoft’s relationship was purely confrontational, when the two companies collaborated several times over the years. No mention either of Apple’s connection to Xerox and the first graphical user interface and mouse. Watching this film you wouldn’t know Steve Jobs was involved with the creation of Pixar. Yes, that’s Disney’s Pixar, creators of some of the best animated feature films of all time. He was even credited as executive producer for a little ground breaking movie called Toy Story!
What is presented here teaches us very little about the man that changed the world with his products and ideas. What’s worse, the glaring omissions in his story paint an unbalanced and inaccurate account of Steve Jobs’s life. The makers of this film simply tried to cover way too much ground, and as a result they failed to tell this mans story on any level.
The only positive element in this flawed film was Ashton Kutcher’s performance in the title role, as he clearly seemed to have done his homework. The physicality, voice, make up and hair were spot on so it’s just a shame that attention to detail wasn’t also applied to the rest of the film.
This is not an accurate account of Steve Jobs’s life and career. If you know very little about the history of Apple Computers and Steve Jobs, this film will clue you into some of the highlights, but you’ll need to research more to get the complete picture. If you’re like me, and have already studied the history of this company and it’s founder, this film will likely irritate you.
This plays more like a TV movie, and is best suited to that platform. Don’t watch this on any Apple product, that would be wrong! 🙂
Matt Whiteley’s script covers too much history, and tries to focus on too many aspects of Steve Jobs’s life. I think before they started this project, the film makers should have sat down and really discussed what kind of film they were going to make. Should ‘Jobs’ be about his family life, or his career, or the technology? Because taking on all three the way they did resulted in a poor biopic about a very notable yet polarizing figure who changed the world in a relatively short period of time.
If you are curious about the life and times of Steve Jobs, please do yourself a favor and read Walter Isaacson’s ‘Steve Jobs.’