Steve Jobs is a man who cheated his best friend out of thousands of dollars. He is a man who had the capacity to fire an employee for not creating a variety of font sizes. He is a man who tried to evade his own daughter for many years. At least, those are the qualities forcefully emphasized by the 2013 pseudo-biography, “Jobs.”
Jobs’ true aggressive and cruelly harsh nature comes to light in the new biopic directed by Joshua Michael Stern. The movie spans much of Jobs’ early life, starting with his years in Reed College to the release of the iPod in 2001.
The title role was given to Ashton Kutcher, who was surprisingly able bring Steve Jobs to life by capturing the slightly hunched posture and subtle quirks as well as the unforgiving attitude Jobs had to those around him. Kutcher was able to display a stark contrast in Jobs’ dark yet sometimes charismatic personality.
The film is a highly dramatized version of Jobs’ life with minor comedic relief provided by Jobs’ best friend, Steve Wozniak, played by Josh Gad, who was referred to as “Woz”. However, although individual scenes may have been enough to capture attention, they did not manage to seam together to make the movie coherent.
The first few minutes of the film were plastered with brief sexualized images followed by a choppy transition to an unusually long scene in which Jobs was spinning around in slow motion in a meadow breathing in deeply. The tackiness of those scenes rivals only those in “The Pirates of Silicon Valley” directed by Martyn Burkes. “Pirates of Silicon Valley” only featured a few scenes with the iconic tech guru, making “Jobs” the first full-length feature film about Jobs’ life.
The rest of the movie is dedicated to demonstrating the antagonistic behavior of Jobs as well as his often shrewd business acumen. The movie barely focuses on Jobs’ downfalls. His confrontational nature is overemphasized but slightly underplayed by Kutcher. Jobs is shown as an individual that no employee wants to be around in fear of losing their job during an encounter with his seemingly mercurial personality. The stress that he creates during the meetings and discussions is almost palpable.
For the most part, the movie lacked of the basic aspects of any film or documentary, of which “Jobs” seemed to be neither. It also brushed over one important part of the tech tycoon’s story – Apple isn’t a one-man show. It never was.