Volunteers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Volunteers Reviews

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½ July 8, 2017
Tom Hanks is annoying and John Candy is underused. An idiotic plot that delivers virtually no laughs. (First and only viewing - 6/22/2017)
March 8, 2017
Tom Hanks and John Candy were outstanding!
This movie is where Tom Hanks met Rita Wilson filming and later married (28 years now)!
Much of the humor is dry and over the head of the lobotomy crowd.
February 5, 2017
This is an old favourite: the bit where John Candy gets brainwashed by the communists gave me a laughing fit.
October 9, 2016
Tom Hanks, John Candy and Rita Wilson star in the comedy Volunteers. Tom Hanks is Lawrence Bourne III, the son of a rich father and he is quite spoiled. He runs a gambling debt of 28,000 dollars and his father decides not to bail him out this time. To escape a beating, he boards a plane with the peace corp that is headed to Thailand. He is paired up with Tom Tuttle from Tacoma (John Candy) and Beth Wexler (Rita Wilson).

The three are tasked with building a bridge that spans across a river which will allow for steady flow of traffic and supplies. Lawrence is cocky and hating the situation he is and refuses to acknowledge or help the locals. He decides to use his time gambling with the locals and relaxing. Beth and Tom are both eager to help, but there lack of knowledge of Thai is makings things difficult. Luckily named At Toon (Gedde Watanabe), is eager to help them learn Thai and provide translation.

What they soon come to realize is that the creation of the bridge is more likely to help the local drug dealers and criminals. Lawrence seems to almost encourage it as he sees it as a quicker way to get out of Thailand, but when he realizes it will harm Beth and others he starts to come around to do the right thing. Hanks does not seem particularly cast well as the spoiled son. Candy's role is wasted as most of his comedic output seems to be repeatedly mentioning that he is Tom Tuttle from Tacoma. There are moments in the film where more physical comedy or action oriented comedy could have been used given the foreign location, but this was not utilized. Volunteers can be easily missed, even by those who are Candy and Hanks fans.

½ September 13, 2015
I think what I liked best was the film score by James Horner. It is almost presented in a bigger than life aspect.

What I was not a fan of is the sexual talk, sexual immorality, drugs, alcohol.

I thought some of the characteristics by Tom Hanks besides the above mentioned factors were funny like how he would act as a big shot and not get away with it or how he felt with people was funny. I did not think it was necessary to see Tom Hanks character get the girl at all.

I was not satisfied with the results of the film. I felt like the villains were not adequately dealt with in order to resolve the conflict since the villains were still there & could always come back.

I did like John Candy's role in this film up till the end when he was blabbering up stuff from being slapped by Tom Hanks character.

This film made a fun of Asians, and war films, card films, bar fights, rescue scenes, and the Peace Corps, CIA, the military, and not in a good way either.
August 12, 2015
This is a movie about a young man who escapes his massive gambling debts by enlisting in the Peace Corps. It is a movie that is loaded with problems, and can't seem to deliver enough laughs to overcome all those shortcomings. The first big flaw is the casting of Tom Hanks in the lead role. He is just too likable to pull off the part of this scuzzy gambler who takes advantage of his father and objectifies women. Also his attempt at a British accent is atrocious and really unnecessary. The next thing that really stands out to me as a glaring fault in this movie is the fact that they squander the talents of John Candy. Almost every single genuine laugh that Volunteers managed to get from me was because of the amazing skill of John Candy. Yet someone decided to write into the script events that had him disappear for almost half the movie. However, the ultimate misfire in Volunteers is the entire plot. They devised a film where there are at least 4 different factions all at play in the bridge-construction project assigned to the Peace Corps team. Normally this would be where you create tension in your film, and yet they stupidly have every single group want the same outcome. It completely takes away any interest we might have in the bridge's construction and made me wonder why we even should care about anything that happens in the movie. There are more deficiencies in the film (like the illogical romance) but they didn't bother me quite as much. In fact there were moments when I would say I was enjoying Volunteers. I still think it is a poor movie and I wouldn't recommend it, but I can't say I entirely hated watching it.
½ February 21, 2015
a sexist, racist, mostly unfunny mess that not even the combined efforts of tom hanks and john candy could save.

still better than temple of doom, though.
½ October 13, 2014
Has some funny moments but just collapses at the end.
½ July 19, 2014
I did laugh a few times but, more often than not, I found this to be boring. Tom Hanks and John Candy do have the occasional moment, but the overall story is not polished enough to get me fully invested.
½ June 23, 2014
Tom Hanks and John Candy lead us on this shallow, silly tour of an unusually volatile Peace Corp mission to Thailand. Both play wacky charicatures - Hanks as a snooty Connecticut socialite in the wrong place, Candy a naive simpleton with two left feet - and that extra dash of color ultimately saves the picture from sliding into the deepest dregs. Though the plot revolves around the construction of a massive wooden bridge to benefit the natives, we spend most of the picture watching Hanks's Kennedy wannabe struggle to emerge from his loathsome, self-absorbed shell, largely inspired by the unrequited affections of fellow missionary Rita Wilson. The pair would actually spark a lifelong romance during filming (they're still together today, bucking the Hollywood norm) but the on-set chemistry doesn't translate to anything special on the screen. Lightly humorous in the spirit of an only-okay SNL sketch, it's inoffensive and flashy but not all that memorable.
½ November 11, 2013
I'm a big fan of pre superstar Tom Hanks movies like "Dragnet," "The Burbs," and "The Money Pit" and who grew up in the 80's and didn't like John Candy but this movie didn't really do much for me. This probably explains why I'd never watched it until now. A lot of much better comedies were released in tge 80's. I'd watch one of them instead.
July 9, 2013
7/9/2013: Good actors, but no real laugh out loud moments. A pretty disappointing Hanks movie.
July 5, 2013
Probably a fantastic movie, but having seen all the actors flicks since this one, except this one, they all seemed like importers..
July 2, 2013
Pretty fun movie. Hanks, Wilson and Candy are great. Plus Long Duk Dong is in this.
May 12, 2013
Okay film with two great actors I enjoy watching, but it really stops being a comedy at some point and basically becomes a war type thriller.

Hanks is really good here, but why does he keep using a British accent off and on? I get that it's an act, but it got annoying real fast since his character never keeps it going for very long. He does have great chemistry with Wilson, as they got married after this right?

Candy is good, but I felt they just used him to be the cliched typical Candy act, not really to do anything new. His brain washing part was pretty funny though.

The film also never resolves the initial problem it sets up for why Hanks finds himself in either. In fact the movie seems to lose a lot of focus in the end.
May 2, 2013
I would love to see this again! Tom Hanks, John Candy and Rita Wilson! And Star Trekk II director, Nicholas Meyer. And crazy Tim Thomerson! Even though it's B-grade stuff, I remember it really well.
January 2, 2013
One of the funniest movies you'll find in the 99 cent rental section. Probably one of the late John Candy's most hilarious roles and you can see glimpses of the great actor that Tom Hanks has become. This movie is an excellent spoof of several movies, most notably, The Bridge on the River Kwai. I highly recommend this movie to anyone looking an hour-and-a-half of belly laughs.
December 29, 2012
This was a Hanks movie that I had never heard of until I saw it on television, just recently. It wasn't one of his better performances.
December 7, 2012
Absolute corker, from there two films splash and bachelor party this is another terrific slice of deliciousness.
October 22, 2012
Life has taken a turn for the worse for Lawrence Bourne III (Tom Hanks). He's on the run from the bookies, in debt for $28,000 and, although he comes from money, nothing but trouble seems to be coming his way. Lawrence persuades a friend to let him take his place on a plane leaving that night for Thailand - and before he knows it, old-money Lawrence ends up in the no-money Thailand to work with the Peace Corps!

Down amongst the do-gooders like Tom Tuttle from Tacoma (John Candy) and the pretty Beth Wexler (Rita Wilson) Lawrence has his work cut out for him. While the others are teaching the natives how to boil water, he's showing them how to play bridge. But when the small village finds itself caught up in a battle between a CIA supported warlord and communist revolutionary forces, Lawrence must delay his plans for opening a Thai nightclub and romancing Beth, and focus on more important things...like staying alive!

also stars Tim Thomerson, Gedde Watanabe, George Plimpton, Ernest Harada, Allan Arbus and Xander Berkeley.

directed by Nicholas Meyer.
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