"If you don't share our enthusiasm and care for the vision of this company. Get out! You're done."
How could you make a biopic about an inspirational and visionary man in such a bland manner? The film lacked the very elements that made Steve Jobs such a creative entrepreneur. It's a shame because the subject matter alone almost guarantees you will watch a great film. Jobs has altered our lives; at this very moment I'm writing from one of his Mac computers while my brothers are chatting on their iphones and listening to music on their ipods. Somehow such great material got lost along the way and this Joshua Michael Stern directed film simply looks like a made for TV biopic. It is one of those movies that are so uninspired and consist of bad writing that you simply thought it was made for TV. Take for example The Social Network, a film about the creator of Facebook, a biopic I thought beforehand was going to be dull and boring, but was completely blown away by Aaron Sorkin's script. He made Mark Zuckerberg look completely appealing. But here we have a much more visionary person like Steve Jobs whose story we all want to see told on film and the result from Matt Whiteley's script is completely uninspiring. The film could be called Apple Inc because it felt like it focused more on his creation than on the creator. There is nothing innovative about this biopic, but the good news is that Aaron Sorkin is working on a script for another Steve Jobs biopic that hopefully will make justice of such an inspirational man. I can't even blame Ashton Kutcher for the failure of this film, because the main problem here was that the script was so bland that all we had were one dimensional characters having uninspired dialogues. If I had never heard of Jobs before I would've thought that this visionary and charismatic leader was simply a dull and unloving person. You simply don't care for the Steve Jobs that's presented here.
The film begins by introducing us to Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) as he is presenting his latest creation, the ipod which will change the way people listen to music everywhere (as we already know). That is as far as the film goes as we jump back to the past and see Steve dropping out of college sometime during the 70's. He attended some creative classes simply as a drop in, but he spent most of his time getting high with his friend Daniel (Lukas Haas), with whom he also travelled to India for a spiritual visit. Back at the US, Jobs worked at Atari where he had trouble getting along with his coworkers. He was offered a special deal to create a circuit board and that is where he got his friend Woz (Josh Gad) to help him out. After having success, Jobs and Woz partnered together selling circuit boards and founded their own small business in his parents' garage. Along with Daniel and Woz, Steve hired Rod Holt (Ron Eldard) to help out with the engineering of the first Apple computer. Their next challenge was to get the funding needed to build the company, which they finally got from Mike Markkula (Dermot Mulroney). The film then goes on to focus on Apple's early success and later Steve's trouble getting along with the company's CEO, John Sculley (Matthew Modine), his forced retirement from his own company and then his return to Apple several years later.
It's a shame the film focused so much on Jobs's turmoil years and left out the most creative period of his life: his successful return to Apple. I was OK with the fact that it showed his early beginnings at his garage because that is where the dream was born, but I wish the film would've focused more on his successes. Jobs wasn't portrayed as a saint either, and that is a plus, we see how turbulent and erratic his behavior was at times as a temperamental manager. Ashton Kutcher wasn't terrible as Jobs, he got some of his posture right (the scene where he walks across the hallway at Apple is near perfect) and at times the tone of his voice was also right, but I also felt that there were several scenes where he lost that voice and simply became Ashton Kutcher again. The narrative structure of the film didn't work either. I felt there were so many moments that seemed disconnected at times and rushed. It's like they got some details right, but the motivation behind Jobs' work was left out. His character lacked depth and so did everyone else's who simply come in and out of the film to set the next stage. I don't think that the perfectionist "Father of the Digital Revolution" would've approved of this movie if he were alive today. The biopic simply scratches the surface of Jobs' life, but stays away from his heart and what really motivated him to be the visionary innovator he was. I'll be looking forward to Sorkin's take on his life.