Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad, J.K. Simmons
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
Running Time: 129 mins
Jobs is an American film about the life of legendary tech wizard Steve Jobs, and how his hot-headed personality led him into conflict with his associates in the early days of the Apple company.
Since its release two years ago, this film has taken on a fairly bad reputation as a rubbish biopic. Although it’s not masterpiece, I think that the image that many have portrayed of this film is way too harsh, and that there are moments where it shines and is a relatively interesting movie.
The main part where this film is a success is in establishing the various characters in its first act. In fact, there’s pretty much nothing wrong with the first act, as we get to see the genius that is Steve Jobs as well as his ill-tempered personality, as well as his relations with co-founder of Apple, Steve Wozniak. In the first thirty minutes or so, then, there’s quite a lot to be interested by and learn about.
Also, the performances by Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad in the main roles aren’t that bad. Kutcher doesn’t set the world alight with his portrayal of Jobs, but he’s definitely still solid in the role, and doesn’t really overact where some other might do, whilst Gad succeeds in a completely dramatic role at creating an interesting character to complement the centrepiece that is Steve Jobs.
However, things do start to go badly wrong in the following hour and a half. Firstly, we lose the sense of excitement and innovation that the first act presented so strongly in the founding of Apple, and it’s replaced by a dull and relentless series of monetary discussions and administrative issues, almost as boring as the awful FIFA film United Passions.
Another big issue comes in the development of the character of Steve Jobs. Yes, it’s a true story, but in the way the film presents it, it seems that Jobs never changed. He was apparently always a self-centred intellectual who liked to shout at people, and you never get any sense of him maturing over the course of this movie, which covers about 15-20 years of his life.
Finally, one smaller, but painfully irritating problem with Jobs was that it ultimately went too far with its presentation of Steve Jobs as a genius. We know he’s a genius, and it’s interesting to see it in the first act, but the fact that the film keeps throwing in so many eureka lightbulb moments when Jobs has a new idea makes them lose all meaning altogether, robbing the film of even more intrigue.
Overall, I’ll give Jobs a 6.4, because despite a strong start with intrigue and decent performances, it falls to pieces as it progresses with a dull focus on Apple’s administration, and a serious lack of interesting character development.