(SPOILERS, BUT IT’S A MOVIE FROM 2002 GET OVER IT.)
I think for the future Thursdays will be a #TBT review, blog, remembrance piece or whatever. To kick off the first inaugural one, I had to look into the wasteland known as the HBO movies on demand section. I was just looking for the first semi old movie that looked to be of some type of quality to distract me from the slow workday, and the first thing to be recommended by the HBO GO app was Catch Me If You Can. I had never seen this movie and heard really nothing about it but my rule of thumb is if it has Leo starring in it, it can’t possibly suck can it? Even with Tom Hanks co-starring on top of being directed by Steven Spielberg?
It doesn’t. I liked this movie a lot from start to finish (I’m 2 for 2 this week). It’s a crime movie with a unique twist to make it different from others in the genre. There is not one fight scene in the entire movie, which happens to have a 2 hour and 20 minute runtime. The fact that the plot relies on the actual story of Frank Abagnale Jr and his ultimate fraud scam spanning 6 years and over $4 million in essentially stolen money and not one punch is thrown is just incredible story telling. I don’t know much about Abagnale and his actual story but if this film is overall accurate to his life, then bravo sir.
The plot of Catch Me If You Can is Frank Abagnale Jr. (played by Leo) runs away from home in 1963 after his parents get divorced because his dad (played by the legend Christopher Walken) has committed some serious fraud and is investigated by the IRS. Abagnale then goes to New York with $25 in a checking account and starts what would end up being the most largest and insane check fraud system in American history. To put everything in perspective in 6 years he stole over $4 million by cutting checks with different routing numbers so they wouldn’t bounce until he’s got the cash in hand. On top of that, he impersonated a pilot for Pan Am, a doctor, and a defense attorney, got married to Amy Adams and went across the globe. ALL BEFORE HE TURNED 19 YEARS OLD.
Now the movie has good performances from all its actors from Tom Hanks being the FBI chasing Abagnale, Martin Sheen as the lawyer who hired Abagnale in Louisiana and Amy Adams father, and again Walken as his dad. But the thing that just made this movie so good is how this kid finessed the entire United States out of millions, got legit doctorates, and fucking passed the BAR exam to practice law in Louisiana. There are a few select members in the finesse Hall of Fame (the only competition Abagnale might have is the Silna Brothers and their deal with the NBA), and Frank Abagnale is the first inductee, the founder, and the chairman of the finesse HOF. Like seriously, an 18 year old kid passed an exam he supposedly studied for and was granted the ability to practice law in New Orleans. I’m still trying to wrap my head around this movie.
Overall, I would make this movie a solid watch on a rainy day and nothing going on. I wouldn’t watch this movie multiple times in one year or anything like that, but it’s a fun film and a fun story. With a great cast, arguably a top 5 director behind the lens, and a score from the all time great composer John Williams, Catch Me If You Can was a pleasant time. Now I must spend the entire weekend in a dimly lit room reading everything on Frank Abagnale Jr and best practices to finesse my way to pass the BAR exam.
Score: 8.5/10 IGN approved