For those not in the technological know (Hi Dad!), Steve Jobs is the founder of the most powerful technology company in the world. This is the first of three upcoming biopics attempting to document Jobs’ life and the meteoric rise of Apple.
The film opens at the famous iPod launch and it’s easy to mistake Hollywood pretty boy Ashton Kutcher for the real thing. As the unlikely lead in this rather serious tale, Kutcher does a commendable job mimicking the Apple founder’s mannerisms, walk and speech.
We’re then taken to Reed College where a young Jobs has dropped out but continues to take classes while not wearing shoes (or deodorant as we discover later) and goes on an extended yet totally anticlimactic acid trip. Presumably and obviously, this is meant to demonstrate the hippy, rebellious and innovative side of his nature.
He then joins forces with Woz, AKA Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad), and together, along with a rag tag team of technological misfits, they bring the technology giant to life in Jobs’ parents’ garage. The remainder of the film systematically documents the challenges faced by Jobs as a result of his outlandishly innovative ideas and concludes just prior to the iPod revolution in 2001.
Although initially entertaining, much of the film feels fragmented. This combined with the two-hour running time makes it difficult to remain connected. The depiction of the carnage resulting from Jobs’ singular vision also makes him a particularly unsympathetic protagonist. Whether or not we have here a true depiction of the life and work of Jobs is hard to say, especially considering he is no longer here to defend himself.
Even though technology is not the sexiest subject, Alan Sorkin’s The Social Network showed us it has the potential to thrill. Unfortunately, however, Jobs lacks such excitement, which makes the film disappointing given that its namesake was such a renegade. Hopefully The Newsroom creator can work his magic in the upcoming Sony production and do the story more justice than this current version.
BY LEE HUTCHISON
Jobs is in cinemas on Thursday August 29.