Jobs Review

Jobs is a boringly inept failure at covering the life of the troubled Apple CEO, Steve Jobs...

First things first, I don’t suckle at the teat of Steve Jobs and the corporate façade that is Apple Computers. Should my pre-conceived image of Jobs play into my assessment of this Jobs? Absolutely not, and it doesn’t; yet, there are certain aspects of what is shown to the audience of this mixed message film that cannot go unmentioned. Condensing his life into two hours that span only 20 of the years he spent building his company, Jobs skips over too many important sections of the man, creating a cut and paste story of some big shot who won’t take no for an answer, instead of exploring the deeper aspects of an obviously troubled mind. From his days as a college dropout to his wave of highs and lows within this company, Jobs focuses mainly on the start of Apple Computers all the way to 1996, when Steve returned to the company following a controversial exile. It’s the chronology of man who built an empire from his garage with the help of some friends, and the desire to retain the public’s view of what they want in life. Within that time period, Jobs did work with other companies in real life, most especially Pixar. These events are not covered in the film though, as this is a movie about what Steve Jobs built, and nothing else; and that right there is the problem. Unless you’re making a multi-part biography, it’s impossible to cover every facet of someone’s life. The scary thing about this film though is that it swiftly breezes over all of the important issues in the man’s existence to zero in only on his struggles to make Apple in his image. In the opening section of his life as a drifting college burnout, the story drops a quick mention about his biological parents abandoning him as a child, and wraps back around to the notion of how it affects him as an adult when he willingly refuses to admit he is the father of his girlfriend’s baby for years. This side of his life is something I’m more interested to delve into and explore, not the stubborn jerk who belittles people into realizing his dreams for him. Jobs was an overwhelming control freak who couldn’t build any of his creations for himself, but could bend the will of almost anyone to get it done for him.  Yet too much of his background, the real meat of the troubled childhood that informed his later unstoppable force, is left so shadowed. This begs me to question how he ever got anywhere in life, if I didn’t know any better. After dropping out of college, he spends his days sleeping on campus couches and walking barefoot around the school. Though he is not enrolled or paying tuition, he still has the dean telling him he can attend any class her wants, free of charge. He cannot decide what he wants to do with his life, and the film hints that he isn’t even interested in computers; sneaking out of the classes he isn’t paying for because it bores him. Cut to him sitting in a cushy job at Atari after a trip to India where the company bends over backwards to give him what he wants, even though he spends his day reeking of body odor and yelling at programmers who won’t listen to his orders to change everything. To appease his seemingly precious mind, they leave him to lead his own project, letting him come in at nights to work alone so his offensive odor won’t disrupt the other employees. Of course, he gets stuck working on his project and has to call in his pal Steve Wozniak to finish it for him, telling Wozniak he will get $300 for his work, even though Jobs will collect $5,000 for the finished product. I never read Jobs’ book, I don’t know if this is how those events really happened, but this is where Jobs fails as a sloppy mess of a movie. It runs with the idea that everyone thinks Steve Jobs was God’s official re-imagining of his presence, put on Earth to deliver us gadgets to play time-consuming games on after checking our email while taking a piss. I need information that is not being provided. The film does paint the portrait of a practical cheater who never created anything for himself, just pimping other people’s ideas off as his own, burning every bridge along the way and, to steal a lyric from Elvis Costello, “taking all of the glory, and none of the shame.” Whether he was right or wrong in any situation, Jobs presented himself as an insufferable twit who railed against the world when he didn’t get what he wanted. The fact that the film shows that image onscreen is fantastic, but it all comes wrapped up by playing the, “This guy is a genius card, and he knew he had to fight for what he wanted.” Take this idea as a single message and the point of film is, “You can be a complete jerk to anyone who talks to you, as long as you create something world-changing in the end.’  I still don’t know what the biggest draw for the film is; the fact that it’s all about people’s nerdy deity, or that he’s portrayed by Ashton Kutcher. Kutcher certainly doesn’t give a poor performance, but will it change the way some of his detractors feel about him? Maybe, but he doesn’t offer anything that could be considered earth shattering in terms of his acting abilities. He came in and did the job without ruining the picture, and that’s about it. In the end, that’s possibly the best the filmmakers could have asked for, and put in the middle of such an uneven storytelling experience; he actually is the only thing that holds the whole thing together.When all is said and done, Jobs falls in line with every other thought that has been spent on Steve Jobs and what he brought to the world. It doesn’t care about the cracks and faults of a seriously troubled man, it’s just happy people on Macbooks around the world are sending messages to other people with Macbooks about how there’s a movie out there on the dude who totally created the machine their on. And he’s played by that oh so dreamy, Ashton Kutcher. Den of Geek Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars


2 out of 5