Film, Drama
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It’s a big hurdle to get over: Ashton Kutcher is playing Steve Jobs. This is not a typo. The dude from Dude, Where’s My Car? (2000) is portraying the tech wizard who transformed personal computers and thus, our modern world. Sure, Kutcher is the king of Twitter and it’s no more ridiculous than, say, casting Mickey Rooney as young Thomas Edison—but really?!?

Wisely, director Joshua Michael Stern kicks off this look at the man’s life at the 2001 Apple Town Hall Meeting in which Jobs introduced the iPod. Our first glimpse of Kutcher as the older, more seasoned, gray-bearded icon doesn’t just confirm that he can ape the appearance and the loping gait of Jobs 2.0; the actor nails the look in the man’s eyes, a penetrating glance that suggests he’s simultaneously chasing rainbows and sizing up weaknesses. It’s an inspired move. You instantly believe this guy could be a cosmically sloppy hippie dreamer and put the Mac in Machiavellian. You’re ready to follow the star anywhere he takes this chairman of the motherboards.

Unfortunately, Kutcher is taking him through the hoops of a rote here-goeth-the-great-man tale, albeit one that makes a point of showing us that Jobs was both genius and jerk-off. All the marks are hit: The early garage days with Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad), here treated as a chubby, wisecracking Costello to Jobs’s Abbott; the eureka moment of coming up with the name Apple; the risks, the successes, the failures, the hubris (“He’s great…but he’s a time bomb!”), Jobs’s ouster and reinstatement as CEO. But while we’re reminded of what Jobs did, there’s little insight into why he did it. The film thankfully doesn’t offer some pop-psychology Rosebud to explain Jobs’s drive or near-sociopathic perfectionism, yet we walk away knowing nothing about what made this revolutionary tick. He deserves a 360-degree portrait. What you get is a mini recap of a pioneer’s life—a biOpic shuffle.

By: David Fear


Release details

Duration: 0 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Joshua Michael Stern
Cast: Ashton Kutcher
Dermot Mulroney
Josh Gad
J.K. Simmons
Lukas Haas
Matthew Modine

Average User Rating

2 / 5

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Staff Writer

When will Hollywood learn that casting actors based on their looks just doesn't work? Yes, the cast of this B-list Steve Jobs biopic look just like bizarro world versions of their real-life counterparts but that doesn't mean they can bring those characters to life effectively. And that, in essence, is everything that's wrong with this film.

Not only are we watching a handsome Ashton Kutcher who's almost disturbingly similar in looks to Steve Jobs play one of the most intriguing, famous and misrepresented people of our time with stumbling difficulty but we're essentially watching a timeline of disjointed scenes plotting the "facts" of the rise and fall of an over-ambitious, slightly nasty and slightly broken genius with little to no emotional attachment.

It's such a shame that this film failed at every hurdle. It feels like a massive script was written, 20 hours of story was filmed and then they cut out all of the heart to make it a factual chronology of events they thought people would want rather than a story that'll bring the fabled man to life. Basically, what they forgot to do was bring out Apple's philosophy, products for humans.