The true story of a real fake.
Catch Me If You Can is a 2002 biographical crime film directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Steven Spielberg and Walter F. Parkes, produced by Amblin Entertainment, Parkes/MacDonald Productions, Kemp Company, and Splendid Pictures, and distributed by DreamWorks Pictures. The film is based on Frank Abagnale, Jr.'s 1980 autobiography, Catch Me If You Can. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks. The film was nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Walken) and Best Original Score, but didn't win either.
"Sometimes, it's easier living the lie." -Carl Hanratty
After his parents go through a rough divorce, Frank Abagnale, Jr. runs away. While trying to provide for himself, Frank begins conning his way into jobs and making money by forging checks. The FBI gets a hold of this, and send Agent Carl Hanratty to catch him. This results in a worldwide chase and an unusual bond between Hanratty and Abagnale.
The biggest thing about the movie is the acting. The leads are absolutely fantastic, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks as the leads. That, in itself, is a dream, but then throw in Amy Adams, Christopher Walken and Martin Sheen, and you've got a crazy good cast. This is the height of DiCaprio's charm and boyishness, and he is perfect for the role of Frank Abagnale. He takes his teenage persona to a next level in this film. Hanks is much more harsh in this film than usual. His character is very serious, and he is a perfect foil to DiCaprio's kid like antics and mischievous deeds. Christopher Walken was very caring, but also had the sense of mischievousness that DiCaprio has. They both did a great job of making you believe that they are really a father-son duo.
I think that the story is very fun. I know that it's based on a true story, but real life can still be exciting. They make this worldwide chase very fun and very fast-paced. Even though Frank Abagnale is doing bad things, it is clear that he doesn't have male intent and is a good person. Carl Hanratty is the grumpy detective, but he clearly cares about Frank. They add so many exciting things and different elements to the story, and every time that Frank is able to escape, it gives you a good feeling for Abagnale, but a bad one for Hanratty. They make you root for both sides, and that is really fun.
The writing is very clever. They did a good job of capturing the foolishness of Frank Abagnale. Now, like I said before, most of that is DiCaprio, but the writing also helps with that. They make the things that he says perfect for DiCaprio's charm and kid-like persona. They rebounded well off of each other.
I think that they make emotions very present in this film. When you find out that Frank's mother is cheating on his father, you feel the sadness and anger that Frank feels. When he falls in love only to lie to her and have to eventually leave her, you feel that. When the movie finishes off and we get the last couple of reveals and the epilogue, you get the sadness and happiness from Frank's perspective as well as Hanratty's.
First off, this movie is definitely too long. It is only two hours and twenty-one minutes, but it really should be, like, and hour and forty-five minutes. They add a little bit too much into the story and a little bit of extra unnecessary dialogue, and that makes the movie drag on at certain points. It can take the fun out of the movie near the end, and it feels like it'll never end.
This is a bit of a nitpick, but Tom Hanks' accent is definitely distracting. I love Tom Hanks, but his accent isn't very good and I think that it wasn't necessary to put into the film. It works much better with DiCaprio and Walken.
Finally, I didn't like that they would add in scenes from the end of the chase so that the movie could end in a culmination of sorts. It made it pretty confusing at points, and it felt annoying when they would take you out of an exciting scene and throw you back into the part where Hanratty had already caught Frank.
Despite an excessive runtime and annoying cut scenes, this movie has a great cast and a fun, fast-paced story with likable characters all around.
I will give it a Savory rating. Age range is 8+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good)
"Catch Me If You Can"
Fun Factor: 7/10
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Rated PG-13 for language, sexual content, thematic elements
Released on December 25, 2002
2 hours and 21 minutes
Leonardo DiCaprio as Frank Abagnale, Jr.
Tom Hanks as Carl Hanratty
Christopher Walken as Frank Abagnale
Martin Sheen as Roger Strong
Amy Adams as Brenda Strong
Nathalie Baye as Paula Abagnale