In one particularly telling scene, Frank begs his father to let him (Jr.) stop his con games. But, Sr. can't allow it, he can't see past his own troubles with the government and believes that Jr.'s sticking it to the government will in some way win back some of Sr.'s own pride. It, of course, won't, but Jr.'s desperate love of, and need to please, Sr. means that he continues running, continues his schemes well past the point that he should.
Being pushed away by Sr. forces Jr. into the arms of Hanratty, a stand-in father who never sees his own child. Despite Hanratty's wanting to catch Frank, Hanratty grows a certain amount of respect for his adversary through the years. In more than one way, Hanratty saves Frank's life and it is Hanratty who sets Frank on the right path – the path on which Sr. could never put his son.
Wow, okay, that all sounds very heavy and serious, and while there are bits and pieces that are serious, as stated, the pace of the film keeps it all going forward so that even when you get those serious ideas, they're shown to you through this lighthearted lens and constantly spun. You walk away with the idea of the melancholy and upset Frank Jr. feels when talking to his dad, but then again, that twinkle and half smile Walken puts in Sr.'s eye further keep it all light and airy.
That movement (and without Sr. present in the scene, that twinkle), unfortunately, doesn't continue in the climactic chase scene, which is another reason that incredibly important moment in the film doesn't work. When Hanratty finally corners Frank Jr. (and you know from the beginning of the film that he will), the only movement is DiCaprio's jumping about and running through each of his lines at a mile a minute. At that moment, not only is Jr. cornered, but the film is too – it has to play out this serious moment in an otherwise comedic film and it just doesn't know how to make it happen. Fortunately, the denouement takes longer than in the average film and most of the bad taste of this climax is washed away by the time the credits actually roll.
The bonus features included with the new Blu-ray release are interesting, but all appear to be previously released. In fact, little effort seems to have been put into getting them onto the disc – although they are all a standard definition 16:9, that 16:9 plays out within a 4:3 frame, meaning that not only will you end up with black bars on the top and bottom of the screen, but the left and right as well. A little care, presumably, could have resulted in optimizing the featurettes for a 16:9 television—even if they were kept SD—and a much better result. It is unfortunate because the bonus features are a series of behind-the-scenes talks about the film with the stars and crew (a gallery is included too). Frank Abagnale Jr. himself is present for some of the featurettes and is just wonderful to hear after one has watched the movie.