4 / 10
Comparing Jobs to The Social Network is like comparing a pretty crap film to The Social Network. But I’ve heard this done, I’ve heard it done.
No doubt Steve Jobs is ripe for a moviefilm though. Him with all those songs he put in his little pocket and swanning around in his black skivvy. He was like the fifth Wiggle.
But there’s not a lot of wiggle magic here. Jobs is a study on what not to do when making one of these Geek Tragedies.
Firstly, for the love of all that is good and holy don’t let Ashton Kutcher get involved. The poor boy seems eager to get his drama on, and doesn’t do a terrible job (hooray for puns), but it is just so damn exhausting watching him do it. Presumably Steve Jobs walked like a Thunderbird.
And he might have got away with the gait and beard, but there only appear to be two levers to make Steve’s face dance – furrowing brows and raising voice:
Furrowed brow / raised voice: Anger
Furrowed brow / normal voice: Profound insight
Un-furrowed brow / raised voice: Profound insight
Un-furrowed brow / normal voice: Fart
I suspect – but can’t yet prove – that this is part of some grand prank and Kutcher will soon pop up on MTV explaining how he Punk’d Steve Jobs’ legacy. Remember when MTV played music? Weird.
Secondly, when scribing a Geek Tragedy don’t try and make every word seem more important than it is. There are reviews out there in the interwebs where Steve Jobs is read as a Christ-figure. I shit you not. And the guy just started a fruit store.
Oh sure, I get it. He had an impact. I count no fewer than four Apple products in the room in which I now crouch, cat-like, ready, waiting. Jobs will be remembered as one of the world’s great industrialists, along with Edison, Henry Ford and Big Kev.
But the film clumsily overdoes the profundity. Every other scene climaxes with the music stopping and the camera zooming in on our man as he mutters earnest and significant psalms like “Apple!” or “Everything matters!” or “Hot Potatoes!”
Thirdly, the movie unfairly makes Steve Jobs seem the kind of guy Tyler Durden would want to fight. Don’t believe me? Ask someone who thinks the exact same way I do. Recall this exchange from Fight Club:
“If you could fight any historic figure?”
“I’d fight Gandhi.”
A fine answer indeed, but I submit that the Jobs of Jobs would also be a worthy target of Mr Durden’s fists-of-anti-passive-consumerism-wrath (otherwise known as his-hyphenating-fists). I missed his wider motivations for sticking a typewriter to a TV and so Jobs is all but reduced to wanting to make money and power through clean-lined gadgets. It could have done with more of his sales pitch about the role of such gadgets in the bigger picture.
Lastly, when making a Geek Tragedy, don’t avoid dwelling on the main character’s personal relationships. They half do it by showing us a bunch of interactions between Steve and what I like to call “people”. He breaks up with his girlfriend because she gets pregnant. He does other stuff. He fires a guy because of Comic Sans. But there’s no time spent on the interesting possibilities of why such behaviour and what it might mean to him.
Why does it get four out of ten? Because people who like Apple products will find moments of passing interest in it all.
Sent from my iPhone.