Catch Me If You Can
Review by Ross Anthony

I'm not crazy about this title, but the title credits are slick in their '60's styling -- slick as Frank Abagnale (AKA Black, AKA Taylor, AKA Conners, AKA Leo DiCaprio). The film starts near its ending, the fugitive in the hands of the relentless fed; then springs backward to a happier time, with young Frank Catch Me If You Canenamored with his smooth father (Walken) and beautiful French mother (Baye). Spielberg takes his time endearing us to Frank as this utopian family slowly slips away. Christopher Walken is hands down fantastic as the loving father who never loses his smile -- the second mouse. Give this guy an Oscar nomination!

Leonardo is also rather flawless as the fake, thief, liar, with a seventeen-year-old heart of gold. Hanks is strong, but dare I say (again) miscast. He's too lovable from the get-go. I think a harder face, someone we'd be surprised to find any kind of warmth from, would have set up the cat and Catch Me If You Canmouse pairing with DiCaprio even better. De Niro -- that'd be my pick, come-on that "Knock Knock Joke" is 100% solid De Niro.

Speaking of that pairing, I particularly enjoyed the juxtaposition of two contrasting scenes: 1) Our Mouse (Leo) in James Bond duds kissing a gorgeous model whilst at the same moment 2) Our dedicated cat (Tom) sits in a laundry mat betwixt two disinterested senior citizens.

The chase is fun, amusing, and hosts a good sense of humor. For the most part, this "True Story" is believable with the inclusion of several Spielbergisms. For instance, a gathering of carolers continues their song un-impressed with five squad cars coming to a screeching halt directly in front of them. It'd never happen that way for real, but it looks cool on film.

"An honest man has nothing to fear -- so I'm trying not to be afraid."

  • Catch Me If You Can. Copyright © 2002. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Martin Sheen, Nathalie Baye, Amy Adams.
  • Directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • Screenplay by Jeff Nathanson.
  • Produced by Steven and Walter F. Parkes at DreamWorks.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:16:28 PDT