In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “I started this review lamenting the loss of Tom Hanks the funny guy to Tom Hanks the serious actor. But Joe Versus the Volcano is great example of Hanks delivering both.”
“Nobody knows anything, Joe. We’ll take this leap, and we’ll see. We’ll jump, and we’ll see. That’s life, right?”
Tom Hanks is great. Tom Hanks has won a couple of Oscars, been nominated for a couple more and deserves all the praise he gets. And as much as I like pretty much everything he’s done in the last 20 or so years as a legitimate, A-lister who makes prestige stuff, I also kind of miss the goofball Tom Hanks that we saw all the time before then. The bloke who made Big, The Money Pit and Turner and Hooch. The bloke who made weird stuff, like Joe Versus the Volcano.
Working a miserable job for a miserable boss (Dan Hedaya) in a miserable factory famous for being the home of the anal probe, Joe Banks (Hanks) is, well, miserable. Constantly feeling awful, he goes to the doctor (Robert Stack) for what is clearly just the latest in a long history of visits. Joe’s usual symptoms are purely psychosomatic, but the doctor does find a brown cloud. A condition that means Joe has only a few months to live. Feeling somewhat liberated, Joe quits his job and asks out his cute colleague DeDe (Meg Ryan). The date doesn’t go so well and Joe’s short moment of freedom is over. (more…)