Movie Review: JOBS (2013)
Biographical films are always hit and miss. Most are often exaggerated from the real life incidents they are based on to maximum dramatic impact, but sometimes it’s necessary. JOBS feels less like an exaggerated account of things, and feels more like an incomplete hole-ridden story about one man’s life. The film really relies on a lot of knowledge of computer pioneer Steve Jobs himself, for the story in the film to have any real effect to the everyday audience. Here is my Movie Review of JOBS…
Blank Page Rating: 3 out of 5 Macintoshes
JOBS tells the story of a hippy and easy -grooving Steven Jobs, a young college drop out with a different perspective on life than most of his contemporaries. Aspiring to learn, rather than acquire a degree, Steven dares to tread on a different path, and combined with his ballsy aggressive attitude, he succeeds, most of the time. When stumbling upon something revolutionary at the time, created by friend Steve Wozniak, Steven is able to start what will eventually become the world legendary, and arguably the most successful technology brand in the world, the renowned Apple computers, and a brand in and of itself. The movie attempts to document this, along with all the highs and lows in Steve Jobs’ life.
The movie works, for the most part in creating a dramatically engaging story that is interesting to watch. To see events that some of us have read about or heard about, being recreated by great actors on screen is definitely fun to watch. Especially the scenes where Jobs rambles on and bitches people out… which is probably every 10 minutes. Ashton Kutcher really takes on the role, and the shortcomings of Kutcher as an actor, definitely acts as his greatest asset here. Kutcher’s previous roles always see him with a sly little smirk, which have been to his detriment in more serious outings. As Steve Jobs though, this quality acts to his advantage, as Jobs himself has been made to look like a person always preoccupied with the inner workings of his own mind, than anything anyone has to say. Kutcher succeeds in stepping into the shoes of Jobs, even mimicking his quirky walk and demeanor to perfection.
Where the movie lacks, however, is providing any kind of insight into the main character, and rather just relying on existing knowledge of the real person the movie is based on. I’m not an expert on Steve Jobs the person, however, Steve Jobs the main character of this movie, was an unrelate-able jerk wad, with no redeeming factors. The film portrayed the man as a quirky genius whose insistence on the little things is what he became infamous for. However, this knowledge of Jobs legacy beyond the movie doesn’t explain or justify how the character acts the rest of the film. There is no motivation, or exposition on why Jobs is so anally focused on font styles. Besides constantly wanting to be revolutionary, there is no reasoning behind what drives him to be revolutionary. Despite his ups and downs, Jobs never once admits his own mistakes or softens his temperament, but still comes out on top, despite other characters who were loyal and dedicated, getting screwed by him in the process. There is very little in the film that humanizes him as a person, except for a stoned montage in the meadow. The film mostly relies on knowledge of how things ended up in real life, to be able to full enjoy the story.
The story might also have been better served if they had just stuck to Jobs’ professional life and career, as his interactions with colleagues are the most interesting and most telling of the character. But in an attempt to tell a well-rounded story, there is some inclusion of his personal life that works against the character, and isn’t fully explained. For example, an earlier scene shows how Steven’s college girlfriend being pregnant, and his reaction to it is anger-laden and he ends up disowning the child. Another scene years later, shows his refusal to accept visitation rights of the daughter he disowned. The later years of his life show a teenage daughter with the same name living with him… but there is no exposition or anything in the movie to show neither this conflict which must’ve been a big part of his life, nor its apparent, eventual resolution and reunion with his estranged daughter. This half attempt of telling this side of the story of his personal life took away from the story that may have been more complete with the exclusion of this angle.
How one likes JOBS will be deeply affected by their opinions on Apple the company and what they know of Steve Jobs as a person, prior to watching the movie. This is where JOBS fails, because it leaves gaping holes about to the life of Steve Jobs and failed to provide any deeper character development than what is already public knowledge… even from a fictional perspective.