Review of Joe vs. the Volcano

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Year: 1990 - Runtime: 102 - Director: John Patrick Shanley - Writer(s): John Patrick Shanley
Country: USA - Language: English - Parental Guide: PG13 - Color: Color

Joe Versus The VolcanoRating: ★★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆


Before Tom Hanks was mentally ill in Forest Gump or stuck on an island in Cast Away, he was retarded AND trapped in Joe vs. the Volcano. Ok, so he wasn’t actually mentally ill really, and he was only mentally lost, not, like, literally on an island, but Joe vs. the Volcano has Tom hawnks at his most intolerable (capped by an infuriating performance by has-been uber-obnoxious Meg Ryan. When Joe discovers he has an incurable disease (hate when that happens) he decides to throw himself into a volcano in Hawaii, because what else are you going to do? Joe vs. the Volcano is inately stupid, but not any more than any Ben Stiller or Adam Sandler trite of the last 15 years. tom hanks may be a mega-actor now, but right before he acted in Philadelphia, he probably should have thrown himself into a real Hawaiian volcano.

Reason to Watch

if you consider yourself unintelligent, or if you liked You’ve Got Mail, I guess this one is tailor-made for you


Joe vs. the Volcano has a little something to say about life, but its so littered in romantic cliches and a contrived pointless plot that menaders in wasit deep water for 2 hours (quite literally) than this film might be worth checking out.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Joe Banks: So I’m not sick? Except for this terminal disease?
  • Angelica: You’re in a rotten mood.
    Patricia: It’s the sunshine. Gets me down.
  • Joe Banks: I tell you one thing, though. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we’re gonna take this luggage with us!
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

A high tolerance for sappy Tom Hanks inspired romantic subplots

Educational Content

Meg Ryan is adorable if you’re Tom Hanks. if you are not, you want to slug her with a bat

There are far more productive less grade-B plot ways to kill yourself than diving in a volcano

if anything kills your motivation for suicide, it’s realizing how hard it is

Justification for Rating

Though the film has garnered a solid cult following, it is hard to ignore the fact that it relies on far too many cliches and typical plot directions to remain anything more than bland and forgettable


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