Ralph Novak
August 27, 1990 12:00 PM

>LAVA STORY: JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO

In an offbeat comedy, Tom Hanks is a quiet clerk whose doctor tells him he’s about to die. To bankroll a last fling, he sells himself to a Pacific island as a human sacrifice. That one-shot career move lets Hanks encounter Meg Ryan (she has three roles), Abe Vigoda (an island chief) and a calm, bemusing script by writer-director John Patrick Shanley. In one lovely scene, Hanks watches an elderly woman walk her dog. He doesn’t say anything, but you can feel him becoming suddenly appreciative of the value of life. (Warner)

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