Joe Versus the Volcano - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Joe Versus the Volcano Reviews

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½ September 18, 2016
Funny and cute. It felt fake, but they made it well enough that it was not distracting. I would say the acting was key in its success.
½ September 15, 2016
Ugh. A completely nonsensical adventure that goes nowhere. It's obviously supposed to be satirical and allegorical but it's also supposed to be funny and life-affirming. It's neither.
August 16, 2016
The beginning, albeit a little drawn-out, is great. You quickly meet Joe played by Tom Hanks, a down-on-his-luck hypochondriac who works for the worst company ever and can't seem to stay healthy. In a funny unraveling, you start to get an understanding of who Joe is and the magnitude of how terrible his life has become. To me, the interactions with his boss at the beginning of the film are classic and easily the best parts of the movie. When Joe finally has decided he has had enough and wants to quit, a hilarious scene ensues that I found myself laughing harder at than when Jerry Maguire packed up and left his agency.


That was the beginning and, if I only had to rate movies based on the first ten minutes, not only would I have a lot more time on my hands, but I would have probably given this movie a solid B. Unfortunately, there was another eighty-seven minutes to sit through and things quickly unraveled. Starting with the premise, Joe is approached by a random millionaire tycoon to jump into a volcano in the South Pacific as a sacrifice to keep the locals happy. I can't make this stuff up. John Patrick Shanley can, however, and let's just say I hope some kind of disarming drug was involved when he did. Maybe it's satire, but I don't get it.

In any event, Joe is convinced to perform this sacrifice after he is told by a doctor that he has a "brain cloud" and only has months left to live. Again, not making this up. I'm normally pretty good at suspending disbelief for movies, but why Joe didn't think to question a brain cloud is beyond me. What follows, though, actually left me in a brain cloud of my own. It was scene after scene of what felt like forced but random interactions that steered Joe to the final climax--The volcano. By that point, I didn't really care that he had fallen in love and now had a reason to live. The relationship itself between him and Patricia (Meg Ryan) seemed rushed and more a necessary means to get to the end of the story.

Roger Ebert gave Joe Versus the Volcano 3.5 stars. This is one we're going to have to disagree on. I give it a 22.
½ July 31, 2016
An average Joe and a good romantic adventure story featuring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan! Those were the days we enjoy seeing them together in rom coms.
July 24, 2016
This is my all time favourite film - yes I know its boy meets girl stuff, and the first of the hanks ryan romcoms, but it is sooo much better than that. It is a perfect piece of cinema where all levels are connected - if you have only watched it once then try again and again, and you will see new stuff each time. What do the ducks mean? What about the path to the factory? What about the crushed flower? Would you jump in to a volcano because you needed to follow your lover wherever they went? Its about soul!!
June 20, 2016
What, this is one of the best movies ever made. 58 percent!?
½ June 16, 2016
This should be a cult classic, but I'm not sure it qualifies. Regardless, it's a highly-entertaining, underrated gem.
½ June 10, 2016
Dark and humorous tale of Joe Banks, a loser of sorts who is told he's going to die. he is then told by a stranger that he will pay for him to jump inside a volcano. Although not for all tastes, this comedy delivers.
April 29, 2016
I didn't hate it, but I diidn;t really like it either. Clearly, it was intended to be over the top, but they lost me as soon as soon as they got to the island.
½ February 29, 2016
An adult fairy tale with one of the 90s most adorable on-screen couples (Meg Ryan, Tom Hanks). The first film (and practically last) from Academy Award-winning screenwriter, John Patrick Stanley. Poor pacing. A ridiculous story that plays more like an strict allegory than a comedic piece. I want to like it, but it just isn't happening. Rating: 5/10
½ February 16, 2016
First 20 minutes are gold. The rest is awkward, the pieces never coming together. The film wants to be weird and off beat and it is, only with a moral center that is at times perplexing, as if it means to say more but never got around to telling you what it is.
½ February 14, 2016
I am not a big fan of romantic comedies, but no matter how many times I watch this, I always enjoy it thoroughly. It's a bit odd, but completely charming.
February 11, 2016
Everyone hates this movie. Not me. I really like it. It's a sweet fairy tale about Joe, a hypochondriac who agrees to be a human sacrifice on the Polynesian island of Waponi Woo. On the way he learns a lot about himself and meets some very interesting people. It's light, happy, silly and fun, and easy to watch. It's not great cinema, but it's not a bad movie. And Abe Vigoda has an amazing part. Enough said.
February 2, 2016
Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are crazy to jump into a volcano. Funny adventurous movie!
January 3, 2016
Not a good movie. But oddly enjoyable and (re)watchable due to the likable stars.
December 18, 2015
I really enjoyed this surreal, bittersweet rom-com, but I think I will enjoy it even more upon subsequent viewings. A real auteur-feeling work, full of unique charm and wacky humor. And Meg Ryan plays a really convincing Wilson volleyball.
July 5, 2015
Some great ideas that don't pan out beginning is way better then the end
June 17, 2015
Simply one of the best fairtale movies. Meg Ryan´s super-enjoyable moments.
Maximum range for an ordinary actress.
May 10, 2015
I think critics and viewers are too hard on this movie. Although flawed, this film deserves some credit for trying to achieve something well beyond its grasp. And, it tries hard.
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