One of the most entertaining biographical stories out there. So based on a true story, this is the story of Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio). He possesses the very unique ability to pass as any occupation he felt like being, such as an airplane pilot, a lawyer, or a doctor. He was also a master check forger, which doesn’t sit to well with the FBI. When an agent (Tom Hanks) becomes obsessive about apprehending this genius criminal, it remains to be seen just how long Abagnale can stay in front of the law. This is a movie that has grown on me throughout the years, and it now sits as one of my very favorite movies of all time. When we stumbled upon this on cable the other day, my wife and I looked at each other, decided to pull out our own copy and start from the beginning, and I immediately became as enraptured with it as if it was my first time watching it.
You want to be this guy.
Even from the very start, this grabs you and doesn’t let go. This may have my favorite opening credit sequences of all time, it is really that artful and skillfully done. This is a story that is too incredible to be fake, and the movie does a great job at selling that this is possible, which it has to do, because this really happened. From the beginning when Abagnale pretends to be a substitute teacher even though he is just a student, it shows the extent of how ridiculously smart he is. He’s got the dangerous combination of the intelligence and charisma, which allows him to succeed at whatever he wants. Another reason why this movie is so fantastic is because of how much fun it is. It is made to look as tantalizing as can be, and it does a great job at selling you on this lifestyle, so much so that you want to see the man succeed in spades.
I know Leo just won his first Oscar for The Revenant, but I was personally more impressed with his performance in this and in The Wolf of Wall Street.
This is an infectious story that shows how this man fooled a vast number of people. It shows just how much misdirection can be caused by a simple compliment, and how easy it is to get people to believe what you want them to. Once Abagnale mastered that ability, it was all easy street from there. Catch Me If You Can is a raucous good time and an excellent cat and mouse story as well. Tom Hanks is splendid as always, and he gets to deliver what I believe to be the best knock knock joke of all time in this. I can’t recommend this enough, and it is one of my favorites for good reason.
Catch Me If You Can (2002) *****
– Critic for Hire