The Tom Hanks Underrated Comedy That Is Streaming For Free

By Douglas Helm | Updated

tom hanks
Tom Hanks in Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

While Tom Hanks is one of the most consistent dramatic actors working today, it’s easy to forget that his early roles were mostly comedies. While many have probably seen films like Big or Turner & Hooch, one of his best early comedy roles is also one of his most underrated films. That film is Joe Versus the Volcano, and it’s currently available to stream on Tubi for free.

Joe Versus the Volcano, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, is streaming for free on Tubi.

Joe Versus the Volcano has the distinction of being the first film that put together the winning on-screen couple of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, whose undeniable chemistry led to multiple collaborations in the future.

Joe Versus the Volcano stars Hanks as a man who is told he is dying of a rare, incurable condition, leading him to decide to throw himself into a volcano as part of a native ritual in the South Pacific. However, he ends up falling in love with the woman (Meg Ryan) who is bringing him to his final destination.

tom hanks
Tom Hanks in Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

Meg Ryan also does triple-duty in the film, playing two other roles along with being the co-lead. Along with Ryan and Tom Hanks, the film also stars Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Abe Vigoda, Dan Hedaya, Barry McGovern, Amanda Plummer, Ossie Davis, Nathan Lane, and Carol Kane.

However, don’t let the early reviews of the film deter you, as the film has become something of a cult classic in the years since.

The film was directed and written by John Patrick Shanley, who was fresh off winning the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for his work on the film Moonstruck. While Joe Versus the Volcano likely won’t be considered by most to be the best collaboration between Hanks and Ryan, it certainly has a lot of charm and an interesting take on the typical rom-com setup.

Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in Joe Versus the Volcano

Joe Versus the Volcano received relatively mixed reviews upon its release but still managed to become a bit of a box office hit. However, don’t let the early reviews of the film deter you, as the film has become something of a cult classic in the years since. If you want a solid rom-com that features the classic combo of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, you really can’t go wrong with this film.

Of course, Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan would go on to make (some might say) better films together in collaborations like Sleepless in Seattle and You Got Mail. Those are undoubtedly classic rom-com, but you have to give Joe Versus the Volcano credit for having fun with its premise. Watching all of them together might be a fun movie night, too, and the fact that you can stream Joe Versus the Volcano for free is definitely icing on the cake.

Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

Tom Hanks’ More Recent Work

As far as recent projects go, Tom Hanks elected to go for quality over quantity in 2023, as he only starred in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City as his sole film effort of the year. As you might expect, the film was critically praised, and Hanks had one of the meatier roles in a stacked cast full of talent.

Along with Hanks, the film starred Jason Schwartzman, Scarlett Johansson, Jeffrey Wright, Tilda Swinton, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Adrien Brody, Liev Schreiber, Hope Davis, Steve Park, Rupert Friend, Maya Hawke, Steve Carell, Matt Dillon, Hong Chau, Willem Dafoe, Margot Robbie, Tony Revolori, Jake Ryan, and Jeff Goldblum.

For now, Tom Hanks only has one film that he’ll be acting in on his project schedule, and it looks like it’s shaping up to be a very interesting project. The film, titled Here, will see Hanks teaming up with his Forest Gump director, Robert Zemeckis, in a film that takes place in one location over the course of many years. The film is reportedly using advanced de-aging technology to age down Hanks and his co-star, Robin Wright.

Here is adapted from the graphic novel of the same name by Richard McGuire, and it will also co-star Paul Bettany and Kelly Reilly alongside Tom Hanks and Robin Wright. The film will be using a new technology of de-aging called Metaphysics Live, which uses AI to do face-swaps and de-aging effects on top of actors’ performances in real time. Unfortunately, there’s no release date listed for this film at this time.

Fortunately, there is plenty of Tom Hanks content streaming to keep us busy until then. Make sure to check out Joe Versus the Volcano on Tubi while it’s free. Also, stay tuned for more news about Hanks and his upcoming projects.