Joe Versus the Volcano

1990

Joe Versus the Volcano

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

62%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 29

54%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 49,888
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Joe Versus the Volcano Photos

Movie Info

Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Patrick Shanley's first foray into the director's chair is a quirky romantic fantasy, featuring Bo Welch's signature production design. Tom Hanks plays Joe Banks, a man who hates his job, thinks the overhead fluorescent lights are making him sick, and quakes at the presence of his boorish boss Frank Watori (Dan Hedaya). He is attracted to the office secretary DeDe (Meg Ryan) but is afraid to speak to her. Then his life changes when he visits Dr. Ellison (Robert Stack). Dr. Ellison tells Joe that he has something called "a brain cloud" that is rapidly spreading throughout his brain. He will feel great, but he'll be dead within five months. Instead of being depressed at this bleak prognosis, Joe suddenly feels free. He quits his job, asks DeDe out, and is contacted by a rich millionaire named Graynamore (Lloyd Bridges). Graynamore owns an island named Waponi Woo, whose natives need to be placated. The natives require a sacrifice to their island volcano, the Big Woo, so that the island won't sink beneath the Pacific. Graynamore offers unlimited wealth to Tom in exchange for Tom's becoming the object of human sacrifice. Joe has nothing to lose, so he accepts the offer. As he heads out to the island, Joe meets Graynamore's daughters -- Angelica, a Los Angeles socialite, and Patricia, Angelica's blonde half-sister (both roles played by Ryan). Joe arrives at the island, and as he stands at the lips of the Big Woo he has to decide whether he really wants to leap into the maw of the fiery volcano.

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Cast

Tom Hanks
as Joe Banks
Meg Ryan
as DeDe/Angelica/Patricia
Lloyd Bridges
as Graynamore
Robert Stack
as Dr. Ellison
Abe Vigoda
as Chief of the Waponis
Dan Hedaya
as Waturi
Ossie Davis
as Marshall
Barry McGovern
as Luggage Salesman
Carol Kane
as Hairdresser
Jim Hudson
as Fred (Guard)
Nathan Lane
as Ben, the Waponi Advance Man
Jim Ryan
as Bellman
Tony Salome
as Clerk (at The Rectal Probe Company)
Lala Sloatman
as Waitress
Jennifer Stewart
as Statue of Liberty
Paul Thorpe
as The (Waponi) God Woo
Darrell Zwerling
as Underwear Salesman
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Critic Reviews for Joe Versus the Volcano

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (4)

Audience Reviews for Joe Versus the Volcano

  • Mar 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.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • May 07, 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 (:
    Cassie H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 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.
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Feb 16, 2010
    Silly little diversion for a Sunday...when the only other choice of activity is breathing. Too silly.
    John B Super Reviewer

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