Brutality. Betrayal. Cutthroat. No this isn’t Game of Thrones this is the battleground of Silicon Valley. The digital Wild West might be the norm for certain part of the country but Silicon Valley culture doesn’t endear itself in other parts of the world. Driven by an extreme version of the disruptor mentality, the company grew very big, very fast and lack accountability and a disregard for law. Enter Travis Kalanick.
Super Pumped is an anthology drama television series created by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, named for the 2019 nonfiction book of the same name by Mike Isaac. The first installment, subtitled The Battle For Uber, is based on Isaac’s book and centers on the rise and fall of former Uber CEO, aforementioned Travis Kalanick, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The mini-series also stars Kyle Chandler, Uma Thurman, and Elisabeth Shue.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt shines in the role of Kalanick delivering a fascinating performance on par with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Wolf of Wall Street and Jesse Eisenberg’s Social Network performances. Levitt who typically plays the every man, nice guy, is like a larger than life super-villain of the board room here and nails it. The way the series is shot is also ingenious with Kalanick lies being depicted as green screen cutaways that give way to the truth. His “bro-ish” narrates the story in snarky and often demeaning moments that enthrall you as much as it sickens you.
Kyle Chandler also delivers a powerful performance as Bill Gurley, UBER’s initial backer and confidant to Kalanick. However, like with his friends, girlfriends, and associates, Kalanick stabs them all in the back to get what he wants.
Who would have thought the story behind UBER would be so intriguing? UBER changed how society does travel, gets food and products, and more whether through them or their various imitators.
HipsterZOMBIEJoint Experience highly recommends checking out Showtime’s Super Pumped – The Battle For UBER.