This is a very fun movie. It
provides the best role in a long time for Leonardo
DiCaprio, much better than Gangs of New York. He has shown in the past (Romeo + Juliet, What's Eating Gilbert Grape)
that he can act. So, put him together with my
favorite actor, Tom Hanks, some snappy directing by Steven Spielberg, a nice
turn by Christopher Walken, a fun script and presto, Catch Me If You Can
is a great movie! This is the true story of Frank Abagnale (DiCaprio) who, at the
age of 16, left his home and parents (Walken + Nathalie Baye), and started
scamming so successfully that he impersonated an airline pilot, a doctor
and a district attorney, all without any training. At the same time,
he passed millions of dollars in bad cheques and seduced a few babes. The
bad cheques attracted the attention of the FBI and, in particular, one agent,
Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks). Hanratty became obsessed with catching Abagnale.
Like I said, this is a fun movie.
The fun starts with the opening credits which are animated. The style
of the credits and the whole movie is reminiscient of the late 60's and early
70's when the story of Catch Me If You Can took place. As we
say, it was a simpler time, and the story of Catch Me If You Can is
told simply and straightforwardly. Hanks and DiCaprio have a good chemistry
together, portraying these two adversaries who become friends. I can't
say enough about Tom Hanks. He has no vanity.
He vanishes into roles such as this and other recent movies (Road to Perdition and Cast Away) without worrying
how he appears on screen. Hanks completely disappears into this role
of the geeky but relentless FBI agent. As I said above, DiCaprio really
has a role that he can relax into. He plays the part with the right
mix of chutzpah and vulnerability. Walken is
his usual weird but entertaining self as the older and sadder father of young
Abagnale. Martin Sheen and James Brolin, who recently ran against each
other for President on The West
Wing, both appear in cameos.
Spielberg really keeps the story moving
along, portraying the constant motion of the chase as DiCaprio stays one
step ahead of Hanks. And there's even a happy ending. This is very
satisfying since both of the leads are very likeable and you want everything
to work out. This is definitely the feel-good movie of the new year!