Joe Versus the Volcano

Watch Joe Versus the Volcano

"An average Joe. An adventurous comedy."
  • PG
  • 1990
  • 1 hr 42 min
  • 5.9  (39,557)
  • 45

Joe Versus the Volcano is a whimsical, romantic comedy from 1990 that stars Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, and Lloyd Bridges. The film was directed by John Patrick Shanley, who also wrote the screenplay. The movie follows Joe Banks (Tom Hanks), a hypochondriac who works in a dreary factory job and is convinced that he has a terminal illness. One day, he is approached by the eccentric billionaire Samuel Graynamore (Lloyd Bridges), who offers him the opportunity to live out his last days in luxury on a private island in the South Pacific. The catch? Joe must first throw himself into a volcano as a sacrifice to the island's angry god, in order to appease him and lift a curse that is preventing Graynamore from mining the island's valuable resources.

Joe initially refuses the offer, but after losing his job and realizing how unhappy he is with his life, he decides to take the leap of faith and embark on this wild adventure. Along the way, he meets three different versions of Meg Ryan's character, each of whom embodies a different aspect of the traditional 'hero's journey': the innocent, the damsel, and the independent woman. With each encounter, Joe learns more about himself and what he wants out of life.

The film is a surreal, visually stunning fairy tale that tackles some weighty existential themes about life, death, and the search for meaning. It features lush production design and cinematography that create a dreamlike atmosphere, and the score by Georges Delerue is hauntingly beautiful.

Tom Hanks delivers a nuanced, comedic performance as Joe, bringing warmth and vulnerability to a character who could easily come off as annoying or self-pitying. Meg Ryan, in her first collaboration with Hanks (they would later star in Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail), is radiant in her three different roles, showing off her range as an actress. Lloyd Bridges is a hoot as the eccentric billionaire, and the supporting cast includes memorable turns by Ossie Davis, Abe Vigoda, and Dan Hedaya.

Overall, Joe Versus the Volcano is a charming, one-of-a-kind movie that defies categorization. It's a romance, an adventure, a comedy, and a fantasy all rolled into one. If you're in the mood for something offbeat and delightful, this film is sure to satisfy.

Joe Versus the Volcano is a 1990 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 42 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9 and a MetaScore of 45.

Joe Versus the Volcano
Where to Watch Joe Versus the Volcano
Joe Versus the Volcano is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Microsoft Movies & TV and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Joe Versus the Volcano for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 42 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (39,557)
  • Metascore