Starring Ashton Kutcher, Josh Gad and Dermot Mulroney
Directed by Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote)
Rated PG-13 for some drug content and brief strong language
Apple founder Steve Jobs is easily considered to be one of the most important people in modern history and telling his life’s story on film had to be a daunting challenge. In this new biopic Ashton Kutcher takes on the iconic role telling the tale of the infamous Apple founder and what brought him to greatness.
I’m sure many will predict that Kutcher will be the reason for the film’s failure without even seeing it. After all, he’s not exactly known as being one of the greatest actors in Hollywood. Surprisingly, his performance here is good enough. And that’s saying a lot. He looks and talks the part just fine and doesn’t distract from the story. Mind you, he’s not as good as the excellent Josh Gad who plays Jobs’ partner Steve Wozniak, but my level of respect for Kutcher has risen.
Where the film suffers greatly is in the story, or better yet, the parts of the story they decided to tell. If you’re one of the millions who read the biography by Walter Isaacson, there are some obviously vital parts of his life that are simply brushed over here. I agree that Steve’s college and Atari years, as well as his garage days building computers, was essential, but probably the most crucial part of his life was when he was fired from Apple and what he did next. This part of the story is basically glossed over. This is when he was responsible for the success of Pixar, the seeds of the modern Mac computer and the ideas that brought us what we think of when we hear the word Apple. The humbling experience of getting kicked out of the company he created changed him in a way that sent repercussions throughout the world. In this movie, the period is simply a title card telling us that years had passed. Maybe the filmmakers thought that they didn’t have the time if they wanted to keep the movie to two hours, but without representing this period in his life, they really didn’t represent the part of his life that made him the man we know today.
Also, the film has a definite made for TV quality that seems a little out of place in a movie theater. It suffers from having a fairly inexperienced director and a first-time screenwriter. Under more experienced hands and with a better script, the movie would have been more impressive.
I still think the film has some merit and is slightly memorable, but I don’t think it’s the proper representation of the legendary figure. C+