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In this sequel to Saturday Night Fever, former disco king Tony Manero has left Brooklyn and lives in Manhattan. He stays in a cheap hotel and works as a dance instructor and as a waiter at a dance club, trying to succeed as a professional dancer on Broadway. The breakaway from his Brooklyn life, family and friends seems to have matured Tony and refined his personality, represented by his diminished accent and his avoidance of alcohol and profanity. However, certain attitudes have not changed, as with his most recent girlfriend, who's also the singer of a local rock band. Written by
Mark J. Popp <email@example.com>
Sylvester Stallone's "Staying Alive" is one of the most misunderstood movies ever made. It is the sequel to the very popular "Saturday Night Fever". However, "Staying Alive" is often pegged as a turkey in comparison to the first film. That is very unfair.
I wonder whether critics have anything against the film or Stallone himself. Stallone had established himself as a very capable director with "Paradise Alley" in 1978 and "Rocky II" in 1979 and "Rocky III" in 1982. But they seem unwilling to lay off Stallone and his many talents. I think he does an excellent job continuing the story of Tony Manero (played again by John Travolta).
If you love dance, you will love this film. Stallone uses his camera extremely well to capture the nuances of dance itself. There is one very strong sequence in which Tony and his on-again, off-again girlfriend practice for a Broadway musical that takes up about 12 minutes and is just exhilarating.
The story is also very good here. Tony is now a professional dance instructor in Manhattan who has a chance to get a part in the hottest new Broadway musical out there "Satan's Alley". Tony finds himself torn between two women and Stallone asks a lot of tough questions about relationships here that a harebrained movie wouldn't even touch.
Travolta is again on target here as Tony Manero. A lesser actor wouldn't even touch material as tricky as this, but Travolta takes the risks and it pays off. The music (by the Bee Gees and Frank Stallone) is excellent and fulfills the same purpose music did in the original.
"Staying Alive" probably won't ever receive the recognition it deserves. For those of you wondering, I am not being paid by Paramount to say this. My opinions CAN'T and NEVER WILL BE bought. I genuinely feel that this is an exceptional film and that it deserves better than it has received over the years.
**** out of 4 stars
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