This review first appeared in the Sunday Star-Times, 25th August 2013
This loose biopic of the Apple creator’s early rise to IT-stardom should be much better than it is, but the bits that work do so nicely.
Ashton Kutcher looks startlingly like the young Steve Jobs with his floppy hair and loping walk, eschewing shoes and dropping acid while attending university as a drop-out, before starting Apple Computer with some mates in his dad’s garage. Kutcher captures the charisma as well as the difficult, uncompromising personality of a man who famously rejected his pregnant girlfriend (and child) because they didn’t fit with his work commitments.
The 70s, 80s and 90s are beautifully evoked in the lighting, music and costuming, and the cast overflows with famous faces under awful haircuts. But the inevitable comparison with the far superior The Social Network won’t do Jobs any favours, especially with its decision to focus on the early years and abandon its audience at the turn of the millennium.
The closing credits show that the director was perhaps more interested in finding lookalikes than crafting an interesting tale as (albeit somewhat hamstrung by sticking to real life events) the narrative becomes a series of break-ups and reconciliations between Jobs and the love of his life: his company. This particular computer programme could do with a reboot.