Directed by Joshua Michael Stern and written by Matt Whiteley, “Jobs” presents the two sides of the man—the good and bad. What we don’t get is the “why.”
“Jobs” opens with Steve Jobs debuting the iPod and then goes back in time to Reed College, from which Jobs has dropped out. From there we move on to the creation of the original Apple team and the beginning of Apple itself.
The film is very good at showing us Steve Jobs’ drive…how important it was for his product to be perfect. We see how focused he was…focused to the point of being extremely unpleasant and downright horrible to many of the people around him. He certainly didn’t suffer fools. The problem is we don’t know what’s behind that drive. What made him the man he was? Nothing in this movie addresses this important facet to his personality and that’s a huge negative.
Ashton Kutcher shines in his performance as Steve Jobs. While he bears an uncanny physical resemblance to the man as demonstrated by the black and white photos shown at the movie’s end, he also manages to capture Jobs’ mannerisms with them seeming forced. Kutcher conveys Jobs’ will to succeed, his enthusiasm, his passion. I felt like I was watching the real Steve Jobs.
“Jobs” supporting cast helps elevate a less than stellar script. Josh Gad is well cast as a young Steve Wozniak and Matthew Modine does a good job with the unenviable task of playing John Sculley, the man invited by Jobs himself to help run Apple and ends up taking over the company. The film is also very successful at illustrating what life was like in the Silicon Valley and how exciting it was to be part of the awakening of the world to new technology.
Aaron Sorkin is currently at work on a new film about Steve Jobs. Hopefully it will give us a different, fuller perspective on the man. Steve Jobs’ influence on our culture…our way of doing business…our society…cannot be over estimated. A movie about him should be equal to the man himself. Unfortunately “Jobs” is not that movie.