Jobs lamely follows the cliché-ridden framework of biopic filmmaking so closely, that I couldn’t help but feel offended for the legacy that Steve Jobs has left behind. Apple fanboy or not, Steve’s impressive story demands far greater than what is being offered here. Jobs is completely and utterly devoid of any of the ingenuity and inspiration that the titular character was widely recognised and celebrated for. Instead the filmmakers have produced nothing more than a somewhat competently made television-movie.
Spanning Steve’s journey, quite disjointedly, from college dropout to reappointed CEO of the company he helped found, director Joshua Michael Stern proves inept in his ability to tell a story of this magnitude. The film’s conflicting ideologies towards Jobs are distracting and appear excruciatingly amateur in their execution. In some scenes, Jobs is framed as a messianic figure, while in others he’s the technology world’s most brilliant douchebag. Instead of painting a well-rounded portrayal, the film incompetently and awkwardly flip-flops for an unnecessary 120 minute runtime, before ultimately finishing on a forced anti-climatic downer.
To be fair, Ashton Kutcher’s game performance is not the train wreck one might be expecting, and while it’s certainly not a revelation, Kutcher’s eager earnestness is the only redeeming aspect to this harrowingly derivative project.
At times, Jobs appears to be a poor-man’s The Social Network. Both films depict a flawed technology genius, whose anti-social behaviours and sheer arrogance practically derail their ambition before it even lands. But the comparisons end there. Unfortunately, Jobs lacks any of the sophistication and mastery that made the Fincher/Sorkin collaboration a potential Best Picture recipient.
Ironically, with Aaron Sorkin’s own Steve Jobs biopic currently under development, one might be hopeful for a film that captures the same respect and admiration that Steve himself could summon. At the very least, Sorkin should offer an original and creative vision that would be suiting for one of the 21st centuries’ most inspirational figures. Something that this film failed to accomplish, despite Kutcher’s striking resemblance to the man.