Jobs is a dull movie about a snarky s.o.b.
Ostensibly a biopic of Steve Jobs and his ascent to entrepreneur sainthood, the film plays with all the verve and energy of a corporate training video; its subject comes across as irascible, anti-social and cruel.
The movie opens with an Apple 'town hall' meeting in 2001. As his adoring staff cheer, Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) introduces the iPod. Yay!
Why do we care, again? These scenes seem intent upon impressing you more with Kutcher's ability to impersonate Jobs than with anything to do with the iPod; that it was a miraculous game-changer isn't really put across.
Now the story moves back in time to Reed College, 1974. Here is a young Steve Jobs wandering barefoot on campus. Here he is talking to a professor (played by James Woods, who then vanishes from the narrative); here are early hints that Jobs is not kind to women; here it's established that he was adopted; here he is on acid; here he is travelling in India. He's eccentric, you surmise. What distinguishes him from a million other '70s slackers remains to be established.
Now it's 1976, and Jobs has a gig at Atari. He's still anti-social, he perhaps doesn't bathe enough and he has a bad attitude. He's a jerk, but in a story being told from the perspective of his eventual success, nobody puts it that way.
Now we meet his friend, Steve Wozniak, the man who eventually helped Jobs co-found Apple Computer. We see Woz finish a project Jobs isn't capable of finishing himself, and then we see Jobs cheat Woz out of his fair pay for that job.
What else do you want to know? Jobs plays like a two hour primer for Apple shareholders, offering endless detail about how the company was formed and how hard Jobs had to fight to have his important creative vision realized.
In between some deeply tedious business and computer detail, we see our hero treating his pregnant girlfriend like dirt and financially cutting off the loyal friends who helped him found his empire. This is a movie that's tough to like. About a man who's tough to like. Worse, he's not even interesting, according to this movie.
You'll leave the theatre wanting to know more about Steve Wozniak.
Inadvertently or otherwise, this film portrays Steve Jobs as a fairly appalling guy. Nothing in Kutcher's performance suggests the complex psychology of the man; nothing Matt Whiteley's screenplay offers a window into the person.
Only the corporate figurehead is available here.
You'll pardon us if we nod off.