Catch Me If You Can Steven Spielberg

Catch Me If You Can Steven Spielberg
It seems like a strange choice for Spielberg to follow his dark, somewhat bleak sci-fi Minority Report with this ostentatious '60s period piece loosely based on the life of Frank Abagnale, Jr., one the most successful con-men (kids) in American history. But Catch Me If You Can reminds you that Spielberg, despite his predilection for overwrought sci-fi movies, hasn't forgotten about the joy of making simpler movies. And while Catch Me isn't any of the principal players' best work, it is engaging and entertaining fare. Leonardo DiCaprio does a good job with his portrayal of Frank Abagnale, Jr., who posed as a doctor, lawyer and airline pilot, among other occupations, and cashed millions of dollars in phoney cheques all before the age of 21. Tom Hanks gives a straight but occasionally humorous turn as the FBI agent tasked with catching him. But despite DiCaprio as the "criminal" and Hanks as the "good guy," our sympathies align with Frank, who is driven to his life of fraud by a failed family life, and who also possesses an air of baby-faced innocence, while Hanks actually becomes dislikeable in parts of the film, more so than in his "villain" role in Road To Perdition. Some of Abagnale's cons and frauds are so bold that you have to remind yourself that they really happened, which Catch Me's extras stress, giving interviews with the real-life Abagnale, as well as revealing the quick-paced shooting of the movie (under two months), and also featuring clips with Hanks, Spielberg and DiCaprio all sounding off. It is remarkable how almost everyone agrees that Abagnale was more a confused, yet incredibly intelligent and bold, kid who got swept up in his cons, rather than one of the largest bank fraud criminals in American history. This may actually be his biggest con of all, one pulled off as slickly as the movie itself. Extras: "Behind The Camera"; "Cast Me If You Can"; "Frank Abagnale: Between Reality And Fiction"; the FBI Perspective; score featurette. (Universal)