Staying Alive Reviews
This sequel however was unwatchable. Quite frankly, there was no reason to ever make this movie. Tony Manero's life in the first one was not that interesting. What made the movie "cool" was it capitalized on the disco craze and had up and comer Vinnie Barbarino (ok John Travlota) as the lead. The success of the movie was more about the timing than anything else.
So now its six years later and we have Tony Manero back on the big screen, dancing yet again. Problem is, dancing is no longer as cool as it was in the 70s. John Travolta is beginning a decade long downswing of his career, and quite frankly, nobody cares about the character Tony Manero. Nobody left the original Saturday Night Fever saying, "I wonder what happens to Tony Manero". Nobody cared, it was simply a movie about the music and dancing with a marginal plot squeezed in.
The plot of Staying Alive is utterly ridiculous: Dance instructor trying to become a "dance pro", while managing dual love interests. All this culminates in a Broadway show that is unwatchable.
It was simply a bad movie in the early 80s. Today, its almost comical to watch.
I'll give Travlota credit though, many actors would have been exiled after such a catastrophe...he fought his way back to stardom. I have to believe when this comes on cable, he has the ability to laugh at himself.
Staying Alive takes place five years after Saturday Night Fever and follows Tony Monero as he attempts to make it big on Broadway. Usually the opening credits won't give you any indication of the movie quality, except this was one of those rare cases where it did. In the first four mintues we see dancing in a very bland manner with music that has little to no style setting the very low bar for the rest of movie. Now what completely caught me by suprise was that Sylvester Stallone was one of the writers, then it said he was one of the producers, and finally it ended it's opening credits with "Directed by Sylvester Stallone". Of course this make sense because you when think about people dancing in leotard you think of Slyvester Stallone who's well know for his dancing flick such as..... Shall We Dance Rambo and Rocky Dirty Dancing. This is the just begining of many reasons why this sequel completely fails in bringing anything new to the legacy of it predecessor.
In Stallone defense he did refrain from originally having an angry John Travolta mowing down dancers with a machine-gun Rambo style, though that would have been allot better than how Staying Alive unlimately turned out. Stayling Alive simply has none of the charm nor the fun of Saturday Night Fever. So how do you update the image Toney Manero who last time we saw him was smoking, drinking, and cursing all the time accompanied by a harsh and gritty plot? Simple, you take away all of the characteristics that caused him life issues and replace the gritty story with filler, I mean bland romance. The movie plot consists of a series of filler for 80s pops used to artically create it mood and dancing sequences proving the writers weak point are dialouge sequences. Which is why you'll get montages devolping characters instead of coherent dialouge making every scene feels unfinished creating a disjointed feel that prevents the viewer from becoming fully immersed in the narrative.
The lack of chimstry between actors doesn't help either unless you're going for no drama, lack of effort, and aimlessly going from scenes to scenes which they do perfectly. Aisde from Travolta every single one of the actors lack passion and a comminment to put the slightest emotion in their expressions. Not everything here is completely trash, there are some good lines but nothing good enough to make sitting through this worth it. The only thing maringally worthwhile is the music which does all the work to tell the story, but even that's not enough to even bother looking for the sequel and listening to "Staying Alive" by The Bee Gees is provided me more entertainment than the movie ever did. Once I saw the ending credit rolls and I saw from what I like assume Travolta character walking back in time to Saturday Night Fever, I knew deep down the movie wasted my time and will no doubt be a quick forgettable affair.
Staying Alive is a inessentail, completely pointless followup that we could have done without. It offers nothing new to the exsisting material and takes away everything that made it predecessor worth watching. Someone should have pulled the plug and prevented this sequel from Staying Alive.
The filmmakers here must have never seen the original. Everything that made Fever what is was is gone here. Sure John Travolta returns, but he's bears no resemblence to the Tony Manero of the previous film. Not in attitude, and certainly not physically. One a pencil thin, polyester wearing street punk, he's been tranformed into ripped abs, loincloth wearing Tarzan who leaps around the stage in hopes of becoming a Broadway dancer.
Should the blame be placed on writer/director Sylvester Stallone? That's right...Stallone. No. In fact, the blame should be placed on Travolta. As history tells it, after seeing Rocky III, Travolta demanded the studio pursue Sly to helm the sequel to what was then, his biggest box office hit. Without Travolta, there would be no sequel. The studio agreed, made Stallone the offer...and there you are.
Staying Alive is typical of the 80's sequel. All style, no substance. The "story" exists only to string together several flashy, fog filled dance sequence pieced together with 80's power rock music, to create not scenes, but videos that ran endlessly on MTV. I've never seen a Broadway show, but if this is what is typical of them, I'll stick to movies.
Yet for all that, it's strangely watchable. It's like a car crash that you simply can't turn away from. Travolta tries. He flashes his million dollar smile and once in a while shows a brief flash of the things that made him a star with Fever. The two leading ladies are also fine in their limited, and stereotypical roles. Cynthia Rhodes is the long suffering girlfriend with a heart of gold, and Finola Hughes is that star dancer with a heart of ice. A love triangle ensues, but do you need a slide rule to figure out how it's going to end?
Stallone does direct with energy. As co-writer, he must've known how weak the script was, and never lets the audience go too long without another high powered dance number. It may be weak, but it's never boring.
The other thing that most seperates this from the original is the music. The soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever is one of the biggest selling albums of all time. Producing four number one hits, and going platinum 15 times over, it was as much a phenomenon as the movie, and made The Bee Gees the biggest band in the world. This movie has songs by....Frank Stallone. Oh sure the The Bee Gees throw one or two new songs in there, but this soundtrack is all about nepetism, and the slightly more clearly talking Stallone brother gets his 15 minutes.
Is it the worst sequel ever made? Despite what many critics think, no it isn't. However this is the last movie in the world for anyone who ranks Saturday Night Fever as one of their favorite movies. For everyone else, it's a harmless way to kill 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon if there's nothing else on tv but golf. Hey...that's what I did.
Soundtrack - 9.5
Movie - In this case, the sequel IS better than the original (Saturday Night Fever); Better script & acting
Soundtrack - ALMOST as good as SNF!
but can't remember much of it at all.
Though,it was good.