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MICHAEL CAINE & CHRISTOPHER REEVE PLAY IN 'DEATHTRAP'

Rubik's Cube Poster with Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve & Dyan Cannon in DEATH TRAP Year: 1982
Collected antique weapons hanging like pictures in a Mystery writer's home; a middle twist more important than the end twist; and a female character with a particularly odd yet important trait that causes her to possibly acquire everything.... Yes, indeed... Rian Johnson's KNIVES OUT owes a lot to Sidney Lumet's DEATHTRAP...

Except that one, the latter, here being reviewed, is an actual Mystery and quite a thrilling Thriller. While some scenes feel more like a jarring Exploitation Horror flick....
Michael Caine & Christopher Reeve in Deathtrap with Dyan Cannon
Michael Caine is a famous yet has-been Mystery Playwright who's done a number of bombs, and plots with screechy wife Dyan Cannon to kill one of his former students who has written an incredible play that's also called DEATHTRAP and could get him back on track — if only he wrote it himself!

Anyone who's taken this particular roller coaster knows that the input of Cannon's character means close to nothing by the end, that is, her end when the movie/play really begins — involving Caine and Reeve, now both open and honest together yet sharing no trust whatsoever. Their performances become more pointed and intense and also more loose and darkly humorous...
Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine in DEATHTRAP Rating: ***1/2
The problem is that aforementioned female character who, unlike KNIVES OUT, isn't even good to look at: An old kooky Danish psychic (with the voice of The Muppets' Swedish Chef) who does none of the work involved that Caine and Reeve literally bleed for. And the fact she can see the future deletes much of the suspense concerning our co-leads, who would be far better off without her intrusion — plus the cop-out nature of her character existing at all. Her scenes are like bad commercials during an engrossing program...

As for the people that matter, Caine combines comedy and drama with his usual sly charm while a vulnerable, sometimes deathly desperate Reeve proves he's more than a superhero. If only this were a Four Person Play instead of Five. What's Good could have been Great. Even Classic. 
Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine in DEATHTRAP
Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine in DEATHTRAP
Christopher Reeve in DEATHTRAP
Christopher Reeve in DEATHTRAP with a worthless Irene Worth
Michael Caine in DEATHTRAP
Christopher Reeve in DEATHTRAP
Christopher Reeve in DEATHTRAP
Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine in DEATHTRAP
Michael Caine in DEATHTRAP
Michael Caine in DEATHTRAP
Christopher Reeve in DEATHTRAP with Michael Caine and Dyan Cannon

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