Catch Me opens with the best credit sequence in years - an expansive tribute to Saul Bass’s classy animated openings from the 1950s and 1960s, backed by a stylish sax theme by long-time Spielberg collaborator John Williams. Unfortunately, the film never gets better than the titles.Only “inspired by a true story”, Jeff Nathanson’s screenplay has conveniently massaged and moulded the motives of professional faker and fugitive Frank Abagnale Jr (an impressively mercurial DiCaprio) into a routine plea for parental love. So the key men in charge of the Abagnale FBI pursuit have been rolled into one surrogate father (Tom Hanks playing Tom Hanks, as usual) who gradually replaces Christopher Walken’s spooky failure of a divorced dad.
Abagnale passed himself off as commercial airline pilot, doctor and lawyer. Spielberg brings a diverting lightness to Abagnale’s charades, without the picture ever becoming a comedy. But Abagnale’s journey to redemption is too long. Scenes of his French capture are a tired excuse for American flag-waving, the Southern engagement party scene is overblown and contrived, and an episode involving James Bond and a prostitute does little but delay proceedings.Finally, this of all Spielberg films could’ve gotten by without a trick ending.