How do you make a movie where your main character has almost no likeable qualities? That’s the challenge Director Joshua Michael Stern has and like some of the products in his film, Jobs, while a noble attempt, it ultimately fails.
Look, Steve Jobs was an asshole. Yeah, he was absolutely a genius and boy, do they let you know that in the film.
The film starts off as Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) is freeloading on some college courses. Why pay when he’s not really learning anything, he says. They show him going to India, taking drugs and expanding his mind. They do this by having him twirl around in a wheat field as he’s high as balls.
We then move on to the now famous story of building the first Apple Computers in his adoptive parents garage, getting together with Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad) and how they built the foundation of what the company is today.
Stern and writer Mark Whiteley clearly love the guy. The first 15 minutes are treated like the origin of a super-hero and whenever there’s a chance, Stern shows Jobs as a messiah, almost God-like by bathing him in white light so his body has a not-so-subtle glow around him.
But that doesn’t help when their subject is an awful person. He cheats on his girlfriend without batting an eye, then throws her out of the house when she tells him she’s pregnant. He swindles Woz out of thousands of dollars because… well, because. They don’t tells us. He screws two a handful of people who helped start Apple because they aren’t executive material. And so on, and so on.
It doesn’t matter who he hurts because it’s his world, dammit!
And that’s a big running theme here. I can hurt and do what I want to people as long as I get what I want.
He was an ass. He was a genius. Ok…..
Why was he such a huge prick? Why did he constantly screw people out of money? Why didn’t he have any real friends? Why? Why? Why?
I don’t know! And neither will you.
The film never even begins to delve into this and that’s disappointing because if they had, they’d probably have one heck of a movie. The problem with biopics is that they have so much story to cover, so much to cram in, we only get a small sense of who the actual person is.
Kutcher as Jobs is fine and does at times eerily resemble him. He’s got the stance, walk and mannerisms and you have to commend him for taking on, well, the job. The emotional core of the film though comes from Josh Gad. As Woz, he’s at times funny and heartbreaking. He’s the perfect compliment to Jobs, the robot.