Steve Jobs should be considered one of the most influential figures in the modern age. Simply think about how many people have bought an iPhone, a Mac, or an iPod and the numbers are staggering.
That one man helped spark a revolution with the Apple 1 back in 1976 should not be forgotten and it should be little surprise that at least one biopic has been made.
Jobs’ life as a visionary is a tale worth telling, yet there are concerns that the 2013 film did not delve deep enough.
Steve Jobs’ Biopic
There should be little doubt that Steve Jobs’ life should be the subject of a biopic, or perhaps even two. Understanding how one man can have such an impact on 21st-century culture should be a slam dunk for screenwriters and directors alike.
Aside from the technological advances he helped orchestrate, his own personal life and dramatic close relationships with others that saw him leave Apple and then return as CEO provide a wealth of drama.
The problem is that Jobs fails to touch the sides of what made the man who he was and what a biopic should cover in detail.
The film plays out like a TV movie and instead of learning how Jobs came to become such a globally well-known figure, the film seems bare on such fully-fledged details.
There is such depth in why Jobs rose to such a position yet after two hours, you are left with a vague understanding of how he quite managed it.
It may be harsh to compare this to The Social Network yet the disparity is vast. Whereas Zuckerberg’s story of developing Facebook remains worthy of memes and GIFs, Jobs largely misses the components that make a great drama.
Those memorable moments are forgotten in a profile that follows a blueprint closer than you want it to. There are other figures that play an important role and Josh Gad plays a sympathetic Steve Wozniak which helps move the film along.
That the cast includes J.K. Simmons, James Woods, and Matthew Modine should not be overlooked, simply because you forget that they are involved. Then there is Lesley Ann Warren who plays Jobs’ adoptive mother who is barely even noticed.
Ashton Kutcher As Steve Jobs
It should be noted that Ashton Kutcher pays more than just a passing resemblance to Steve Jobs. Allow him to put on a pair of spectacles and he could easily pass for a younger version of the visionary.
Try as he might, the film falls around him rather than his performance garnering rave reviews. That’s a shame as you can fully believe the depiction with Kutcher playing up Jobs’ looming presence over Apple and the technology industry in general.
Once you consider Jobs’ passion for perfection then you can barely imagine his reaction to the biopic, had he been alive to see it.
That no compromises should be made should not be forgotten in a biopic that cuts corners and fails to go all in with what should be a comprehensive profile.
At various moments, it proves difficult to not be flummoxed by Kutcher in a pair of Levis and a turtleneck. You can appreciate the costume yet the wire-rimmed glasses and short-cropped hair act more as a distraction than something to focus on.
The disparity in age between the actor and the subject is not likely to be helpful, when Kutcher plays Jobs closer to his own age, such as in the visionary’s college years, it works but not later in his life.
Rather than playing Jobs, Kutcher seems to be impersonating him in fancy dress.
The Lackluster Script
A lot of Jobs’ failings cannot be directed at the lead actor as the script falls well short of what should be expected. Many reports have labeled Jobs as a bully, as a motivated individual with a no-prisoners approach to business.
While many of those formative set-pieces are included, there is little in the way of explanation of how they formed the man.
That’s in his early years in business to become the figurehead of Apple yet as a human, his close relationships with colleagues and family often say more.
It is expected that Jobs had to be a perfectionist to advance so highly in business yet screaming at those who defy that exacting aesthetic or acting fragrantly insensitively does bring some memorable moments.
It’s just a shame that the film would be remembered for those scenes when Kutcher is acting like an absolute ass.
That Ashton Kutcher landed the role of Steve Jobs in this 2013 biopic should not come as much of a surprise. There is too much of a likeness for him not to be considered and he portrays the visionary as a motivated, at times perfectionist, figurehead.
Kutcher excels in a film that fails to live up to the heights of such a complex individual as the script fails to provide a deep enough dive into what made Jobs such a remarkable modern-day figure.
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