Aaron Sorkin is one of most renowned writers of drama and dialogue in Hollywood today. His 2010 script for The Social Network was one of the best movies I’ve seen in the past 20 years. The dialogue is electric, the pacing of the film is perfect and the duration is never boring. Yet, going into Steve Jobs with high expectations, I left the theater nothing but disappointed.
Despite all the love this movie has received (85% of Rotten Tomatoes), I have to say I wasn’t impressed one bit with this film. I was engaged in the Steve Jobs story the first five minutes, and my interest slowly faded until I couldn’t wait for the credits to roll. I was that uninterested. The dialogue is just as fast paced and layered as most Sorkin proceedings, but this film fails to do more than just have intelligent characters speaking intelligently — very few characters have any personalities or in Jobs case, really any redeemable qualities (in this film at least)
Steve Jobs felt more like a three act play than a feature film. Each new stage, or scene in Jobs’ life takes place right before three of his most important product reveals. While I respect what Sorkin was trying to do with the script, it puts the credibility of the film on the line with all these remerging characters constantly appearing at the same junctions, each one a bit later in life. If that’s the truth, more power to the story, but I was shaking my head the third time this idea presented itself.
Jobs is a deadbeat dad, he’s cruel to his “baby’s momma”, he’s rude to almost everyone around him and he never establishes himself as a likable character. In comparison, The Social Network allows us to embrace Zuckerberg’s crass personality and actually see him in new situations, with new characters and always with that chip on his shoulder. Steve Jobs never allows Fassbener’s character to grow — his character merely rehashes the same song and dance three times through the course of the film, however, the third time around he is a bit less of an A-hole. Boom, he’s the good guy who created/saved Apple.
And considering Danny Boyle directed this movie, I was shocked when I could barely tell he was involved. The direction is uninspired to say the least.
For as much crap as the first Jobs movie got with Ashton Kutcher, I actually enjoyed that movie more. At least that movie actually followed characters on their journey throughout life. This movie was stale outside of the few moments when characters really showed their emotions and showcased some drama. Don’t get me wrong, it was well acted, but wow was I bored just listening to these characters talk at one another.
Photos courtesy of: Legendary Pictures