Film review

Catch Me If You Can

Opens January 31, Cert 12A, 142 mins

After Spielberg's giant strides towards darker intelligence in Minority Report, this is a relapse. A misconceived 'comedy-thriller', it's long, dreary and, for a tale about a conman, laughably sanitised. Though the story eschews sugary family values, they're tediously shoehorned in.

Leonardo DiCaprio appeases any fanbase he might've challenged via Scorsese by playing likeable fraudster Frank Abagnale, on whose autobiography this is based. In the late '60s, Frank poses as a pilot, doctor and lawyer, all before his 21st birthday. Inspired by his father (Christopher Walken), he survives on quick wits (though you wouldn't know it from DiCaprio's listless form). FBI agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks, working hard) vows to bring him down.

Chronologically a mess, this sexless plodder tries to surf on breezy anecdotes about the rogue (much like Ted Demme's Blow). The period detail's groovy, but Spielberg drenches it in a gushing golden glow. Why Frank falls for a dense, servile girl (Amy Adams) is barely examined. Martin Sheen and Nathalie Baye paper over cracks. It never catches fire.

Rating: 2 / 10


Newsletter


Editor's Letter

The 39th Uncut Playlist Of 2014


A lot to get through here, but I'm indebted once more to the resource that is www.nyctaper.com, who this week have posted two amazing live sets by Steve Gunn and Ryley Walker. Elsewhere, there's a new Waterboys track to check out,...