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A.J.'s Rating: 3.5 Retro-Stars
Catch Me if You Can
Directed By:  Steven Spielberg
Written By:  Frank W. Abagnale, Stan Redding (book) / Jeff Nathanson (screenplay)
Starring:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Nathalie Baye, Martin Sheen
Rated:  PG-13 (sexual content / brief language)
Running Time:  140 Min.
  Hey there, film fans!  What do you suppose we have on the old movie menu for today?   Drama?  Adventure?  Romance?  Not by a longshot!  Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the drive-in, it's Steven Spielberg back in the driver's seat, directing and producing Catch Me if You Can, a cheeky retro-romp starring Leonardo DiCaprio!
    Yes, it's Catch Me if You Can, the comedy that gives felony check fraud a good name!  And would you believe it's all true?  Our boy Leo plays Frank Abagnale Jr., a suave and sassy juvenile delinquent who really goes for fast cars and faster girls.  With his irrepressible charm and keen head for deception, he soon discovers that money can buy him both!  Who says money can't buy you love?  Well, it can if you love money, and young Frankie is determined to have it all. 
    But who's that lurking in the shadows, hot on Frank's paper trail?  Why, it's everybody's favorite Hollywood star, Oscar winner Tom Hanks!  Tom plays FBI Agent Carl Hanratty.  He's hard-working and hard-nosed when it comes to capturing those who bilk the American public out of hard-earned cash.  As he tracks our jet-setting boy wonder across the globe, the only thing he can't seem to catch is an even break!  Yes, the chase is on, and we're all invited to go along for the brash and bouncy ride!
    On the acting front, is it any wonder that Christopher Walken gives an outstanding supporting performance?  His turn as Frank Abagnale Sr. lends the perfect hint of dramatic weight to Catch Me if You Can, without bringing down its breezy feel.  My only wonder, other than a couple which concern holes in the plot you could drive a mack truck through, was how anyone could ever conceive of casting Chris and Leo as father and son!  Luckily, Spielberg handles matters with such a surprisingly light touch that even incongruities such as this don't detract much from the fabulous, frothy fun.
    What's this, you say?  A fresh and airy comedy from Steven Spielberg?!  You've read correctly!  No lovable aliens, war heroes, or talking teddy bears here, kids, just good old-fashioned moviemaking!  With Catch Me if You Can, Spielberg takes us on a frolicking flashback to the 1960's, so fun you may almost forget that the hero of this picture is a real-life criminal.  Don't worry though, because Agent Hanratty is determined to catch him if he can!*
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Review published
December 31, 2002
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*The above review is written in the style of a mid-1960's teen fan magazine...
  So don't be surprised if the movie isn't quite as madcap as it is sounds!