Catch Me If You CanAfter flirting briefly with the darker side of the future with movies like Minority Report and A.I., director Steven Spielberg returns more to a shiny happy time with Catch Me If You Can. Based on the book, Catch Me If You Can chronicles Abagnale's brief career in crime forging millions of dollars in checks and evading the FBI. There is no real depth to this movie, but it is a lot of fun. Spielberg gives it a light breezy feel to the entire film, and make it pretty fun to watch. Although Abagnale is running around committing serious felonies, the audience still empathizes with him and wants him to escape.
What Catch Me is missing is some meat. Spielberg tries to inject some with a father/son-like relationship. Abagnale's father is absent from his life on the run, and he has very few friends. Abagnale tries to project his longings for a parent onto Hanratty, and this never comes across as convincing. And although it makes the Abagnale character a little more complex, he becomes a little less fun to watch. The tone is too different from the rest of the film. It's as if Spielberg is getting lazy with Catch Me If You Can, he's making movies that don't have the reach or ambition of some of his other works, so it's not as good as he can do. Still, it's Spielberg, so even if he does slack off a little, it's still better than what a lot of people can do.