The Steve Jobs biopic, jOBS, just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and it’s gotten fair to middling reviews.
So far, the general consensus is it’s not bad, but it doesn’t take the kinds of risks Jobs himself encouraged people to take. And the big question is, of course, does Ashton Kutcher cut it as Jobs?
Kutcher, and the movie, already has a strike against it from Steve Wozniak, who told Good Morning America, “What I saw was just so far from anything that really happened or said in those days…I think [Jobs] would have been a little offended and embarrassed by it just like myself. I think he would say that was, you know, a little bit too phony.”
Wozniak also told The Verge he decided not to be involved in the film when he “read a script as far as I could stomach it and felt it was crap.”
Still, it has to be said that the life of Jobs is not easy to capture on the big screen. As Ashton Kutcher told the L.A. Times, “This was honestly one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever tried to do in my life. I admired this man so much. I’ve never seen Abraham Lincoln walk into a room, but I’ve seen Steve Jobs walk into a room.”
As Kutcher also told People, Jobs was “a guy that failed and got back on the horse. I think we can all sort of relate to that in some place in our life where we are moving forward with something and we fall down. You have to have the guts to get back up and go again. I think I share that as well.”
While the initial reviews haven’t been stellar, and Wozniak has voiced his displeasure, jOBS got its most positive review yet from Entertainment Weekly.
Owen Gleiberman called Kutcher’s performance “killer-shrewd” where he “bites into the role with his incisors,” and Gleiberman was “surprised, and often riveted, by what a starkly honest portrait it is.” He also termed the film “fascinating” and said it “leaves you wanting more.”
jOBS is coming to a theater near you on April 19 via Open Road Films.