Joe Versus the Volcano - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Joe Versus the Volcano Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ July 22, 2007
Ahhh, the days of sweet youth! Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan look like high school kids in this little comedic trinket that waxes slightly philosophical. Starting out pretty good, reminiscent of Gilliam's "Brazil", it unfortunately degenerates into a misguided and wayward snicker about all those Hollywood movies dreaming about the good life on some tropical isle somewhere. In between there's a message about appreciating life no matter what, and having good luggage. Hanks plays the affable man/boy that made him popular while Ryan has 3 roles, playing herself as the third. You might want to like it more than you actually do.
Super Reviewer
October 15, 2009
An Average Joe. An Adventurous Comedy.

Not so bad as it's said to be. The movie is probably too allegorical for most tastes, but this is a good tale about a character afraid of life, afraid of that next step, who finds his courage and puts his foot forward again.

Joe versus the Volcano is a fable which opens with somewhat surrealistic scenes of the dehumanization of Joe Bank's job and work environment (at a company whose product rather literally screws people) with imagery that seems to have been inspired by the classic film Metropolis. Joe is diagnosed with an incurable disease, quits his dehumanizing job, and accepts an offer to briefly "live like a king, die like a man" - but to fulfill his agreement he must willingly jump into a live volcano on the island of Waponi Woo in order to appease the volcano god. En route to the island, Joe meets a series of interesting characters in NYC and LA, then boards a yacht, captained by Patricia Graynamore. During the voyage Joe and Patricia survive disaster, fall in love, and finally arrive at the island where they face their destiny.
Super Reviewer
May 7, 2011
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks prove once again that they have incredible movie chemistry. Meg Ryan plays 3 astonishingly different women, Dee dee, the shy women, who works with Joe Banks (Hanks), Angelica, the messed up woman living off of daddy's money and the independent and confidant, Patricia. Tom Hanks plays Joe, a man you fears everything in life. This is one of those movies that you'll want to watch again and again for many years to come (:
Super Reviewer
August 10, 2008
One of the few romantic comedies I can watch.
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2009
One of the most crazy ideas, but executed so gracefully. Tom Hanks is the most lovable guy out there and Meg Ryan the most lovable girl out there, naturally this movie shows that. Within minutes you want these characters to be happy and in love, something I rarely find myself wanting without cause.
Super Reviewer
½ September 8, 2009
"Joe Versus the Volcano" is a strange movie, but it is great. Joe Banks (Tom Hanks) isn't satisfied with his job or his life and on top of that his doctor tells him that he has a rare disease called a brain cloud and only has about 6 months left to live. A man pays him to sacrifice himself for an island. There's a tale about a small island in the Pacific Ocean that will sink if someone doesn't jump into the island's volcano after so long. The inhabitants on the island enjoy drinking tons of orange soda, and none of them are willing to jump into the volcano. Joe agrees to do it because he hasn't been satisfied with his life thus far and he wants to go out of this world like a man. The person who will sail him to the island is Meg Ryan.
"Joe Versus the Volcano" was one of the first great Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks movies. I think this movie has a deeper meaning to it than most people might notice after they watch it. It has elements of many different kinds of movies such as a romantic comedy, drama, and adventure. In a way I thought the movie had a message about if you're tired of waiting for something good to turn up in your life, don't give up altogether, you'll find it one day. I recommend "Joe Versus the Volcano" to anybody who likes great movies. It's hard to see why this movie hasn't ever got the credit it deserves because it's a great movie. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2000. Definitely one of the more underrated movies ever, the best Hanks/Ryan movie in my book, and their most overlooked.
Super Reviewer
November 24, 2007
What an odd movie. It's patently ridiculous, yet somehow charming. There are some really interesting scenes, and its building up of big clichés just to cut them down again is definitely not a typical move. You find yourself investing a good 15 minutes at a time into a scene that doesn't really mean anything or go anywhere. Or maybe it does, you're never quite sure. It's weird, but I can't say that I didn't enjoy it. Perhaps it was supposed to be something else and fell short due to production problems, or maybe a little movie got a ton of money and studio power behind it and wobbled out of control... I don't know how to explain it. The message is simple and valuable, though: don't just accept your situation, try to change it. Meg Ryan inspires Joe (Tom Hanks) to do so three times, as three different characters, which is also interesting and a credit to her actual acting talent. Why does she keep making such dumb movies nowadays? Not to say that this one's great, but does anyone remember Courage Under Fire? When Harry Met Sally?? I think she should fire her agent... I digress.

Watch this movie - just expect nothing and you'll be fine.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2007
Comedy about a man who is terminally ill and decides to jump in a volcano.
Super Reviewer
July 20, 2007
A quirky movie plot; it doesn't seem very real. I couldn't get too involved in the story.
Super Reviewer
June 18, 2007
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks pair up for the first time in this silly comedy. It has its share of laughs and feel good moments though.
Super Reviewer
½ January 25, 2007
Fun movie about making life as good as you want to make it.
Super Reviewer
December 30, 2006
Don't be put off by the presence of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan; this is their least nauseating effort with some nice production design in a similar vein to Brazil (from the same designer as Edward Scissorhands) and an interesting off-beat script.
Super Reviewer
December 18, 2006
In this highly peculiar movie, Meg Ryan plays three different women while Tom Hanks plays Banks.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ January 27, 2011
Tom Hanks stands out yet again. However, a lot of the time they spent on stretching out most of the scenes could have really gone to more development. Also, character chemistry and emotion is vacant, the writting is corny, flat-out terrible towards the end and delivered as badly as it sounds, all of Meg Ryan's clearly intended to be badly acted performances go too far and the soundtrack, while good, drowns out the whole movie. So, I guess I can sum up the majority of the vast amount of flaws by saying that John Patrick Shanley's directing in this movie is atrocious. Really, "Joe Versus The Volcano" has some of the makings of being the cult classic it has become, but for me, it is a thumbs down.
Super Reviewer
August 26, 2010
So bad!
Super Reviewer
February 16, 2010
Silly little diversion for a Sunday...when the only other choice of activity is breathing. Too silly.
Super Reviewer
½ March 17, 2015
Perhaps one of the most misunderstood films ever made, but either you appreciate it's very earnest weirdness or you don't. Personally, I fail to understand how vitriol could be extended to something so unique and lovably goofy as this.
Super Reviewer
½ October 22, 2007
Sweet and adorable.
Super Reviewer
August 15, 2006
Sleepless in Seattle is way better, but this is interesting just to see that they already have such a chemistry. the premise doesn't work, the settings don't work, and I still don't understand what the reason behind all the Meg Ryan's is, but the film still manages to inexplicably hold your attention.
Super Reviewer
April 12, 2007
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