A fun look into the history of Steve Jobs that feels mediocre at best. Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher was the first biopic of Steve Jobs and at the time it seemed a little quick coming off of his death. The casting selections seemed pretty good, but I remember Kutcher being the most controversial part as the lead. I never really had an interest in seeing this one, because I think around the time I knew there was going to be another version written by Sorkin so I figured it was more of just a rushed project to get the first biopic about him out. It wasn’t until I recently rewatched Steve Jobs (2015) that I decided to watch this movie so that I could officially compare the two.
In my review for the Fassbender led Steve Jobs film I complained about how the film focused on three specific moments and never ventured out into the details of the early days. That is different with this movie because it goes the typical biopic route of actually starting from the very beginning of his story into the creation of Apple all the way to the release of the Ipod.
The problem though with this movie is that everything does feel mediocre at best. The directing wasn’t anything special that stood out and neither was the writing or the acting. The acting though hinges mostly on Kutcher’s performance as Jobs. I never knew the details of Jobs and how accurate his actual way of talking and walking are to what we see with Kutcher, but he certainly goes out of his way to make him seem unique.
I really enjoy how unique he made his portrayal of Steve Jobs, but it can’t be saved from Kutcher’s inconsistent acting throughout the film. I would love to say that he did a great job all around because there are moments where I think he could have, but it felt like as soon as I had hope of him being great, he ends up overacting in a scene or just being mediocre. By the end I was honestly disappointed in what he ended up doing as a whole. I never hated his casting because he definitely looked the part, but he just couldn’t live up to the performance level that I saw out of Fassbender.
The rest of the acting was led by Josh Gad who plays Wozniack with an incredible group of supporting actors. Unfortunately though, the supporting cast couldn’t help much either, as they just seemed to be there playing bland versions of themselves. I would say Josh Gad might have been the best out of all of them, but even then I don’t think he was a better Woz than Seth Rogen, but he did have a bit more to work with so maybe if I watched it again I would feel different. I do think though that the writing is the biggest issue that holds all of these actors back from being great.
I think the worst part about this movie is the writing which is a shame because they were on the right track with their intention, but just failed on execution. I love that we actually got to see Steve before he came up with the idea with the help of Woz. It really gave us a better insight into what the man was like before, but unfortunately the writing just seemed borderline comedic at times. I’m not even sure if comedic is the right term for this, but more of like a trip that Kutcher went on while smoking pot in an episode of That 70’s Show.
That brings me to the focus of this movie being a little disjointed throughout the film. At times it feels like it’s trying to be serious in the vein of The Social Network, but pushing the fact that he was a big pot head or fan of tripping on acid, seem to feel more comedic and unrealistic than the more serious aspects of the film. It could be that the directing just came off as cheesy and over the top. I’m not saying that there’s a problem with Steve smoking or dropping acid because it was the 70’s and 80’s, but I think there could have been a better way to show it other than making me feel like the whole movie was just a trip.
A lot of the story elements in this film are also brought up in the other Steve Jobs film, but we get a little more insight into this movie, at the same time though it also doesn’t cover everything. Both of these films fail in only giving us a portion of the story rather than actually taking the time to give us both a great complete story and great writing and acting. I think when it comes down to it, the two films would be best if they were just combined.
I think this movie takes the time to actually showcase some important development of Steve Jobs and has a more interesting adventure though his life, but as w hole it comes off as mediocre rather than actual quality. The Fassbender film has the acting and the writing but feels by not giving us a more interesting story in the vein of this film. I think the best version of this movie would be if you had a mixture of the two, but unfortunately I don’t think we’ll ever get a better version of his life. Maybe not for a long time to come.
All in all I would say that I can’t really recommend this movie to everyone unless you are interested in the story of Steve Jobs. I think that if you are interested than you need to watch both of these movies to get a real feel for who the man was and what his story really is. As a standalone movie though, this movie is mediocre at best but entertaining enough for you to somewhat enjoy.