Catch Me If You Can

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Catch Me If You Can
Review (9/10)
(By Blair Barbesin)

Remember the movies from the fifties and sixties? Before special effects became the story? Before the blockbuster event movie? So when you take one of Hollywood's most established and critically acclaimed actors, add a critically acclaimed heartthrob and for good measure one of the most successful directors of the last quarter century - well it has to be a blockbuster - probably with a huge special effects budget, obviously no story and no character's and just promote it for the opening weekend, because we all know that it wont have any staying power. What do you get? One of the best damn movies of the year!

Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio and director Steven Spielberg are a great combination. (Plus, don't forget the always wonderful Christopher Walken!) This movie was a fun, light, whimsical romp that was thoroughly enjoyable. This was a charming movie. If this movie was made in a different era, it would have starred Frank Sinatra and Carey Grant and have been directed by Billy Wilder. It's that type of movie.

What I really enjoyed about the movie was the people. Frank and Carl made a great team of opposites. It was like Agent Starling and Hannibal Lecter, without all the killing. They just connected so well and played off each other so wonderfully. Frank is a wonderfully flawed character. He has no identity of his own - his identity is stripped from him when his parents announce to him that they are getting a divorce. That's when he ran, and ran - and became anyone else he wanted to be, always looking for what was taken from him. Frank's father Frank Sr. (Christopher Walken) lost everything to the IRS. He is a scammer and a con man with a foot in the door of a legitimate business. Caught for income tax evasion, he looses his store, his house, his car and eventually his marriage. Frank Jr. watches his family deteriorate, and watches his mother have an affair. When the divorce lawyer tells him to choose to live with his mother or father, he can't and he runs.

Jumping from identity to identity and cashing fraudulent cheques everywhere he goes, he is searching for what he ran from. He tries, through his scamming, to buy back his family. He truly believes that if his dad had more money his parents would get back together. He is constantly going to his dad, trying to give him money. To him, money equals respect. Eventually, he comes to a realization that this isn't going to work. When his dad tells him that his mother remarried, he gives up. His family is gone. He eventually finds what he is looking for in Louisiana when he meets a nice girl and loves their family and wants to stop running. The thing is, it's too late. He tries to get Carl off his tail by telling him he would stop, he wants to settle down with this girl, but he can't. So, he runs again, when Carl gets too close.

Frank leads a charmed life, and it's ironic that Forrest Gump himself helps him out, because he was trying to put him in all along. In prison, Carl offhandedly shows Frank a case he is working on, and Frank's help leads to his early release, and eventually, working for the FBI and earning millions of dollars a year as a defrauding expert.

I knew I was going to like the movie right from the opening credits, not only because of the John Williams score, but the credit animation was straight out of the fifties. Plus, it was fun to watch. Back to the music, Williams has done his best score work in a long time with his music on this movie. The title track, which I don't know the name of, was a Sinatra tune, or a Dean Martin tune. (Not sung by them, but it easily could have been.) The music set the perfect mood for the movie and was a wonderful complement.

My one complaint is with the loose ends. I really wanted Frank to go back to the girl he almost married and either marry her or come to an understanding with her. (Granted she tried to help catch him, but she was obviously forced to.) They just seemed to really love each other, and if he got her back it would have been the perfect ending to Frank's story. Sure, the summation at the end of the movie tells us that Frank was happily married, but I really think the audience needed to see it for some closure.

Go catch it!

Keyword : Eli, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Christopher Walken, Rio, Animation, Music, You, John Williams, Steven Spielberg, A Di, JR, Shin, William, Frank Sinatra, Ant, Jr., Sr., Ate, Connected, Ex, Gone, Good, Heart, Here, Holly, House, I Do, Ice Girl, Identity, Jump, Lio, Look, Love, Millions, Out, Red, Rent, Run, Running, Special, Stay, Take, Taken, The Girl, The Thing, Thor, Up, Wanted, Will, ROMP, Bi, Now, M., Cas, Leonardo, Ron, Eren, Frau

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