“Here’s to the crazy ones…”
Sometimes, when two films come out about the same subject matter, the superior film gobbles up the crappy one and the latter is forever consigned to the bargain bin of cinema history. Nobody remembers The Illusionist because the far superior Prestige came out in the same summer. Nobody gives a shit about Dark City because The Matrix unleashed itself just a year later. And so we come to Jobs…
The problem with Jobs is that isn’t Steve Jobs, Danny Boyle’s far superior effort. Josh Gad isn’t Seth Rogen. Director Joshua Stern isn’t Danny Boyle. Writer Matt Whiteley isn’t Aaron Sorkin. And Ashton Kutcher sure as shit ain’t Michael Fassbender. Sure this movie might have preceded Steve Jobs by two years but it is inferior in pretty much every other way. That doesn’t make Jobs a terrible film and it isn’t one but it does make it kind of an irrelevant film, which in some ways is worse.
Steve Jobs is a biography staged around three product launches. Jobs is a much broader overview of the Apple founder, taking in his college years right through to the launch of the iPod. One thing the two films seem to agree on is that the real life Steve Jobs was a bit of a dick. A visionary yes but a dick nevertheless. The problem here is that… well… Kutcher just isn’t much of an actor. He does smug so well that it may not be an act at all, and that sometimes suits playing Jobs but the scenes in which he is angry are laughable. Kutcher is like a toddler who is denied an ice cream and while by all accounts Jobs could be pretty petulant, Kutcher just doesn’t pull it off. Dude, where’s your restraint??
It’s a shame because the supporting cast are actually brilliant, by far the best thing about the movie. JK Simmons can play an angry old guy in his sleep but he is always engaging, Josh Gad makes for a suitably downbeat Steve Wozniak and Matthew Modine is a welcome addition to any cast.
Jobs is not a terrible film, although it is overly long, but in the battle of the Steve Jobs biographies this one will forever be the bridesmaid, never the bride.