Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)


Wacky film full of silly moments and crazy hijinks, with an interesting fairy-tale like premise that works in fits and starts despite it feeling a bit too “out there” at times. But it has some funny moments and some really outrageous, yet still very much cinematic visuals, and what an adorable performance(s) from Meg Ryan who is as cute as a button here. Tom Hanks is pretty good too, but he’s usually always good in just about everything he does so it doesn’t really count. The man can act, what can I say?

The film very much takes place in its own fantastical universe, and is just so odd and crazy at times that’s it hard to review properly. It’s good, goofy fun, I guess, with hints of deeper themes here and there to lend the thing an air of respectability. A slight one. The romance, though, is a touch simplistic, and happens way too quickly to be believed. And the beginning is a bit slower than I would have liked, and it isn’t until the premise is revealed that things finally get interesting, but that happens pretty early on so no harm done. It’s wacky and inventive, almost like a kid’s film at times, only with sex, I think. An adult children’s film. Is there such a thing? I guess so.

Overall, I enjoyed it. It’s silly and doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet it’s not entirely void of depth or emotion, even if said emotion is a touch rushed. It’s just a crazy film; a cult classic, I think, and one that probably would never be made today, at least not for any kind of “serious” money. Worth watching.

    • Paul S
    • June 13th, 2013

    I just can’t help it. Joe Versus the Volcano is easily one of my top go-to guilty pleasure films.My immense enjoyment of it is all vibe-based. It has a special movie magic feeling that is oddly life affirming. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan are charming (naturally), and the way Meg plays all three love interests is hilarious.

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