The man who put technology in our pockets and in our hearts is remembered in JOBS starring Ashton Kutcher but can this story of struggle and ambition live up to ambition?
Steve Jobs was a legend; a visionary. He put design and more importantly intuitiveness back into the home computer at a time when technology appeared to be something that the average user would never quite master.
For most Apple means something personal and for those devotees our relationship began with the Ipod. In JOBS, directed by Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote), we meet a more fragile Steve (Kutcher) here: at the famous Ipod unveiling in 2001.
It seems an appropriate place to begin (and end) the story of a man whose dreams were bigger than the tools with which to make them. Unfortunately, it is a complete non sequitur, confusing what is an utterly superficial account of Jobs’ life. One need only consider the next 20 minutes of the film to realise this.
It is the 1970s and a young dropout Steve is sleeping in the commons and attending courses at the local university despite having dropped out. A contrived conversation with the Dean (James Woods) tells us that Steve is a bright student who also possesses the power to pick up any woman he desires despite being a rather bland and slightly autistic character.
Insert a montage of Steve and some buds doing acid, taking yoga courses and travelling plus the odd scene of Steve being a dick for no reason. Apparently this is adequate motivation to commercialise a product that was once thought would need to be the size of a skyscraper to earn money. If this is true then 90% of uni students appear to have a solid future ahead of them.
It is a shame. Kutcher does his best with the material and to be honest for the most part he pulls off a good likeness. However, it really is nothing more than an impersonation. It fails to capture who this person was just as Stern fails to stipulate what this film is about (the fact that the script was cut down prior to filming should have been a warning sign). Steve’s ruthless without any insight into his motivations and this is really to the detriment of the film.
An Aaron Sorkin production of Steve Jobs’ life is reportedly in production now and undoubtedly his treatment of the back room politics that dictated the rise and fall (and rise) of Jobs will give a no holes barred account of the man behind the world’s most valuable company. Until then we are stuck with this.