Sunday, April 29, 2012

HOT: Joe vs. the Volcano

I remember watching this film when I was younger and not liking it very much. Since rewatching it, I feel I like it a bit more - but it is still not up to par with most of Tom Hanks' films.

Anyway, Hanks plays the titular character Joe in Joe vs. the Volcano. This is Hanks first time costarring with Meg Ryan. They will star together in two more films in the 90s, which of course I will get to in the near future.

So, Joe works in this boring factory where he trounces in to work each day and sits with flickering fluorescent lights above him. He drinks crappy coffee and puts up with a pain in the butt boss each and every day. Plus, he has a crush on a coworker, DeDe (Ryan), but never does anything about it.

Finally, he is a hypochondriac. Joe visits his doctor on a regular basis constantly thinking he has some sort of disease - but really he may just be hoping for something exciting to happen in his life. On this one day, the doctor announces that Joe has a 'brain cloud' and will die within six months.

With the news, Joe quits his job and asks DeDe out - which actually goes well until he tells her he is dying. The next day he is visited by a wealthy man, Samual Graynamore (Lloyd Bridges), who asks him to do the unthinkable - jump into a volcano. Graynamore needs to mine on a small island called Waponi Woo and the locals will allow him to do so if he can find them someone to appease the volcano and jump into it.

So, with nothing really to lose, Joe agrees. Graynamore sets him up with a credit card and he goes nuts with it - with his main purchase being these large trunks to carry is clothes. He is to set sail to the island and when he arrives he will be treated like a king then he must jump into the volcano.

On the ship, he meets Patricia (also played by Ryan - she played three roles in this film). Patricia is Graynamore's granddaughter and she has only agreed to bring Joe to this island because she was promised the yacht that she loves so much once he is delivered.

While bonding on the boat, a typhoon hits and Patricia is knocked unconscious. Joe jumps into save her and as he does the boat is hit by lightning and sinks. Luckily he purchased those trunks, because he was able to string them all together to form a life raft.

I won't say anything else about it except that they do manage to make it to the island, and the island folk are in love with orange soda.

As I said at the top, this movie was not a favorite of mine when I was younger. It was very bleak and dull in the beginning, but it does manage to pickup once he actually finds out he is dying (odd to say, but it's true). I'd say it has grown on me a bit with repeat viewings, but it is still lacking compared to other Hanks films.

It is also a bit unbelievable at times - but you have to let that slide, I guess.

Overall, a decent little film that I can watch whenever it's on, but not one that I would search to see again.


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