Biopics have been often guilty of distorting history and selective omission because, as they say in show biz, why let facts come in the way of a great story!
Mark Zuckerberg didn't exactly approve of The Social Network, but that didn't stop the film from winning critical acclaim. It was an instant classic.
Unfortunately, for Ashton Kutcher, Jobs is not even remotely close to greatness. Or goodness.
Just as you are about to buy into the slightly hunched image of a thin fruitarian walking up to introduce the revolutionary iPod, Ashton Kutcher opens his mouth... and it's not Steve Jobs anymore. It is Ashton Kutcher. The dude from Dude, Where's My Car? and Kelso from That 70s Show!
Just about as convincing as Joey Tribbiani playing Gorbachev in a biopic!
And soon enough, we see Kutcher in college. The player.
Quick to jump into bed with the first chick he finds in college. He starts tripping on drugs. It's not like Kutcher has ever played a stoner dude before... No, wait!
The film unfolds as a literal, simplified, dumbed down account of a school essay on Steve Jobs, scene after scene.
The said essay would have probably read like this:
Steve Jobs was cool because he introduced the iPod. (Scene 1, Kutcher pulls it out of his pocket and introduces iPod)
Jobs dropped out of college (Scene 2, Kutcher seen telling someone he is dropping out of college)
He met Chrisann Brennan (Scene 3, Kutcher in bed with a hot girl)
And then started doing LSD (Montage of Kutcher coming to India and doing more drugs)
He joined Atari where people hated him because he was good (Kutcher is told: You are really good but you are also an... *Insert word Zuckerberg was called at the end of The Social Network*)
He took help from his buddy Steve Wozniak to build a more compact board for a video game (Kutcher tells Gad to build a board and overnight, they are done)
And so on...
Every scene is a bullet point compiled randomly from assorted trivia about Steve Jobs. The film makes no effort to find a story that moves you in between all this selective randomness.
Yes, Kutcher nails the walk, the look and the mannerisms and even gives a few scenes towards the second half some intensity but largely ruins Jobs for us. Though Zuckerberg was not a likeable character in The Social Network, we still liked how Jesse Eisenberg played him and eventually ended up admiring a flawed genius. But here, Kutcher just makes Jobs seem like a thankless psychopathic jerk who cheated everyone who helped him grow.
Josh Gad, who plays Apple co founder Steve Wozniak, shines and lends the soulless film a little heart.
Otherwise, this is a film that has nothing to say apart from the obvious. Far from beauty, perfection, class or anything you would associate Apple with. Except maybe a new improved version next year.
Hopefully, The Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin's official biopic of Steve Jobs will do the visionary some justice. But right now, he is turning in his iGrave!