HomeEntertainmentHollywood'Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber' takes another ride through the world...

‘Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber’ takes another ride through the world of tech titans

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Gordon-Levitt is all kinetic vitality and relentless salesmanship as Travis Kalanick, the Uber chief who payments himself as “a disrupter” and has an informal relationship with the reality, a lot in order that his tales steadily reduce from the model he is telling to extra correct depictions of what really occurred.

Early on this Showtime restricted sequence, Kalanick pitches enterprise capitalist Bill Gurley (Chandler) to put money into the fledgling firm, insisting the sky is the restrict on Uber’s potential, and that by way of its “stickiness,” “If someone rides twice, we have them for life.”

Still, that is not all that is sticky about this kind of enterprise, from Kalanick’s dedication to crush his opponents to recruiting the sort of hard-charging executives who make for human-resources nightmares, a toll exacted on the company’s few female employees. It’s an surroundings the place the query “Is this legal?” is met by sly grins and laughter throughout.
Based on Mike Isaac’s bestselling e-book, Kalanick is depicted as being equally ruthless and self-absorbed in his private interactions. He additionally finds an unlikely ally within the media-savvy Ariana Huffington (Uma Thurman, nailing the accent), who helps him navigate the murky waters coping with the likes of Google and Apple. That features a assembly with the latter’s Tim Cook (Hank Azaria), who’s delay by Kalanick’s “rapacious need to win.”

At occasions “Super Pumped” feels a bit too cute for its personal good, with shifting factors of view and characters breaking the fourth wall to instantly handle the viewers. Yet it is nonetheless a sharply written examination of the buccaneering mentality that birthed many of those once-scrappy startups, with the lure of billions motivating (and serving to present rationalizations for) all types of unhealthy habits.

“Super Pumped” does not break a lot new floor; in reality, the essential template parallels not solely the aforementioned initiatives however two soon-to-debut exhibits: Hulu’s “The Dropout,” one other story of an anything-to-win younger CEO, Elizabeth Holmes, taking part in within the land of billionaires; and Apple TV+’s “WeCrashed,” spun out of the podcast “WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork.”

Nevertheless, it is an intriguing snapshot of 1 notably flashy instance of the move-fast, break-stuff mentality, whereas offering its principals, Gordon-Levitt and Chandler, loads of alternative to shine.

Showtime, furthermore, has already ordered a second season dedicated to the founding of Facebook — which can also be the topic of a restricted sequence being developed at rival HBO — making that aforementioned “Social Network” comparability much more apt, sustaining the franchise in principle by dissecting a unique case research every season.

Kalanick, at one level, is described as “a predatory animal,” and as depicted, it is exhausting to argue in any other case. “Super Pumped” successfully illustrates that whereas such personalities won’t be nice to reside with (and even share a experience with), as motion pictures or restricted sequence go, they are often fairly fascinating to look at.

“Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber” premieres Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.

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