Steven Spielberg’s second offering of the year, falling just six months after the release of Minority Report is clearly the lesser of the two films, the less defined but, far more flimsy.To be sure, it is also more playful, a cat-and-mouse chase between a young master-of-disguise and an all-too-often wet-behind-the-ears, always-two-steps-behind, FBI fraud investigator. However, that playfulness is detrimental on the condition that it is too much and was unasked for in the first place. The opening credits sequence, cleverly animating the arc of the chase, shares its fill of the ludic thirst and is far more succinct in managing not to wear out its welcome. For a movie that takes so many geographical jumps and visits, it oddly never manages to convince anyone other than its makers that it is a cosmopolitan product. Catch Me If You Can is brightly but hollowly filmed, a muted step below florescent neon; in a roundabout way it fits with the energy the movie attempts to perfuse, though it merely comes across as misconstrued and anachronistic, building up to the end feeling of inanition. Leonardo DiCaprio adventitiously acts his way through the movie as a chameleonic pansophist, a hideously forced performance that ultimately fits within what one might call his lack of style or talent. Tom Hanks comes off similarly artificial as the blunderbuss agent, fighting all the way to use a Boston accent, but never coming off as a convincing representative — neither of Boston, nor of the FBI. The only person who manages to come out of this artificial environment with the effect of having achieved something, is the kittenish Amy Adams, who plays the feline pawing after the yarn the way the game is intended.
With Christopher Walken, Nathalie Baye, James Brolin and Martin Sheen.[See it if you must.]