Review: Unloving, uninvolving 'Jobs'

Posted at 09/02/13 7:34 PM

Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in the biopic "Jobs"

"Jobs" is a partial life story of iconic founder of Apple Steve Jobs, how he founded his company, lost it and got it back. In between, we see what an arrogant anti-social guy Jobs actually was. This was a far cry from the Steve Jobs who was so lovingly adulated after his recent death.

I do not know if it was because Steve Jobs, the man, is not exactly a good movie biopic subject, or was it Ashton Kutcher's fault for not being able to bring the man out? Yes, Ashton had his distinctive walk, stance and mannerisms down pat, so maybe the way it was written was the problem. Everything just felt so shallow. Even made-for-TV films (which this one felt like) could have told this story better.

One glaring instance of poor storytelling was the side story about his daughter Lisa. When he first found out that his girlfriend was pregnant, he did not acknowledge paternity. But somewhere in the second half, Lisa was a teenager living in his house! So what happened in between?

In contrast, the character of Steve Wozniak, Jobs' technical genius partner, was very vividly portrayed by Josh Gad. Woz was a well- developed character in his own little arc even if he was not the central character.

It was good to see former lead stars Dermot Mulroney and Matthew Modine on the big screen again, though the characters they played were dry corporate types, no big emotion nor action in their acting. But they were still able to deliver well enough in their unsavory roles nevertheless.

They assumed a lot that the audience already know about the difference between Apple 1, Apple 2 and Mackintosh, such that these were not explained clearer. I am sure the younger audiences were waiting for the iPhone, the iPad or Steve's fight with cancer to be shown, but alas, these recent developments were not even mentioned.

The movie is so dry and uninvolving. I did not get drawn to be interested to know more about him. The episodes of his life jump around so much without logical continuity. The supposedly inspirational ending came out of nowhere, not having anything to do with the ongoing story at that point. It completely had no impact, which was a pity. 3/10

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."