Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)
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Critic Reviews for Joe Versus the Volcano
Playwright John Patrick Shanley made his movie directing debut with this defiantly strange, totally under-appreciated, yet completely wonderful romantic comedy.
Like Woody Allen's filmmaking evolution played out in reverse: it starts as smart, existential black comedy and ends in broad, zany caricature.
A more fascinating mess you'll never find.
The unredeemable result of Hollywood's total capitulation to the Spielberg/Lucas aesthetic of the 80s.
Audience Reviews for Joe Versus the Volcano
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.
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.
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 (:
Joe Versus the Volcano Quotes
|DeDe/Angelica/Patricia:||I have no response to that.|
|Joe Banks:||But still...We're on a raft... There's no land in site.... I don't now...|
|DeDe/Angelica/Patricia:||It's always gonna be something with you; isn't it, Joe?|
|Angelica:||Well, you're in a rotten mood, Patricia!|
|Patricia:||It's the sunshine: it gets me down.|
|Angelica:||Would you like to hear a poem?|
|Joe Banks:||Ok, sure.|
|Angelica:||Long ago, the delicate tangles of his hair covered the emptiness of my hand. Would you like to hear it again?|
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