Eureka moments abound in “Jobs,” the new biopic about the life of tech wizard and Apple founder Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher). According to this film Jobs grabbed inspiration in the most unlikely of paces, usually accompanied by a wide-eyed look. In fact he spends so much time staring off into space one has to wonder if there isn’t another, more interesting movie playing just off screen.
Early on in the film the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote reminds us that, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” This journey takes us from Jobs’ early days in Paulo Alto, California where he and a motley group of techies began to redefine the way that people interacted with technology, through to his rise and fall as Apple’s CEO and head nerd to his eventual redemption. Strangely, the movie begins with a clip of the older, obviously ill Jobs, but never revisits that flash forward scene or the man’s illness.
“Jobs” serves as a reminder that it is rare to find an extraordinary film about an extraordinary person. Perhaps it is that it’s hard to take “Two and a Half Men” star Kutcher, despite his resemblance to Jobs, seriously in the role of a visionary. Or maybe it’s just a standard movie about a man who made innovation his life’s work. Either way “Jobs” is the kind of movie that feels better suited to television than the movies.
It doesn’t sugar coat Jobs’ legendary temper. In fact, given the way he behaves for most of the film—dismissing Apple founding father Daniel Kottke (Lucas Haas), or denying paternity of his child—the movie should be called “SOB”, not “Jobs.”
Ripe with inspirational music cues and lines like “There are still those of us who believe in what Apple stood for… what you stood for,” that despite the raw edge to the man’s personality, “Jobs” often plays like a hagiography rather than biography.
A movie about a man driven to excellence should have a bold connection to its subject. Unfortunately “Jobs” feels like an old dial-up connection.