Joe Versus the Volcano

Film, Fantasy

Time Out says

Shanley's full-blown romantic fantasy, shot almost entirely on stylised sets, is a dreamlike allegory about heroism and personal fulfilment. Curiously, in a film so dependent on narrative and visual artifice, it is Hanks' multi-faceted performance as a clerk-turned-adventurer that binds the disparate elements together. After learning that he has a 'brain cloud' and only six months to live, Joe realises he has been too scared to live properly, and accepts a challenge from magnate Graynamore (Bridges): the inhabitants of a Polynesian island need a hero who will jump into a volcano to appease their gods; in return, Joe will get to live like a king and die like a man, while Graynamore gets the rights to valuable mineral deposits. Passing from the depressing grey-blue of Joe's office through LA's neon brashness to the abstract colours of the later scenes, this engaging fable builds from a slow bubble to an outright eruption of comedy, romance and tear-jerking sentiment. If you go with the flow of Joe's Capraesque journey of self-discovery, you may be swept along.

By: NF


Release details

102 mins

Cast and crew

John Patrick Shanley
John Patrick Shanley
Tom Hanks
Meg Ryan
Lloyd Bridges
Robert Stack
Abe Vigoda
Dan Hedaya
Barry McGovern
Amanda Plummer
Ossie Davis
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