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After the relative success of The Social Network biopic about Mark Zuckerberg, it was only logical that other modern “visionaries” be given the same treatment. One such “visionary” is Steve Jobs. jOBS is completely unrelated to Apple whatsoever and is not endorsed by any of the actual characters. That probably explains the overly simplistic telling of a complex story.
The story starts at the launch of the iPod in 2001 and then immediately jumps back to Jobs’ college years in 1971 at Reed College. Early on it shows that Jobs is an individual with an idea of his life that no one will influence. This shows his ambition and drive but also his complete ignorance of other’s feelings as well as his well known stubbornness. The tale then follows Jobs as he went from a college drop out to starting what we all now know as Apple inc. After dropping out of college and finding a job at Atari Jobs then enlists his close friend Steve Wozniak to help on a project after which he discovers Woz’s new creation, a personal computer. In these early exchanges we get an idea of the man Jobs really was, being brilliant, manipulative and downright ruthless at times. From here we see the creation of Apple company, the launch of their first products and the subsequent growth of the newly found tech company. Things then swiftly move over the years as Apple grew and then the tumultuous years where Jobs was ousted from the company to his glorious return in 1996 when he re-established his vision for the company.
My biggest problem with Jobs is the complete lack of detail. Most of Jobs’ personality and personal life is mainly glanced over. His relationship with Wozniak, his ex-girlfriend, Chris-Anne Brennan(Ahna O’Reilly) and the estrangement and reuniting with his daughter are merely touched with a feather and no details are given. We never get an idea as to why his relationship with Woz broke down to the level it had, we never get to see how he changed from a distant father to a family man. So many details that were essential for understanding the man Jobs truly was are simply missing. This is understandable as the movie was not condoned by any of the characters and some, like Steve Wozniak actually criticized the film quite heavily for its inaccuracies.
All that being said, I felt that Ashton Kuthcer did a nearly fantastic Job as Jobs. He does a great job of recreating everything from the small hand movements to the characteristic gait of Jobs, everything except maybe the voice. But as good as Kutcher does I feel that Dermot Mulroney as Mike Markkula, the former Intel engineer who financed the start of Apple, steals the show along with Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak.
Joshua Michael Stern makes his big screen directorial debut and does a good job of it. The film is shot beautifully and intelligently, but the sad fact is that the whole experience is slightly let down by the writing of Matt Whiteley.
Overall jOBS is a fairly entertaining movie for those who don’t really like facts and choose to remain mostly ignorant. But those who do actually like films to be factually accurate, this will be an exercise in frustration.
Samuitimes gives jOBS an average 5 palms out of 10.