Staying Alive

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Staying Alive 7Staying Alive (1983)

Directed by Sylvester Stallone

Written by Sylvester Stallone and Norman Wexler

Starring: John Travolta, Cynthia Rhodes, Finola Hughes

Tony Manero (Travolta) has conquered the dance clubs of New York and now he’s setting his sights higher. To prove himself as a dancer he’s trying to break into Broadway. Along the way he has to learn how to navigate the politics and hurt feelings of this competitive world.

Staying Alive 2After the success of Saturday Night Fever this movie came together with Sylvester Stallone (Rocky) behind the camera. Not only did Stallone direct the film, he also partnered with Norman Wexler to write it. John Travolta (The General’s Daughter) took on the lead, playing Tony Manero for the second time. The cast for this film also includes Cynthia Rhodes (Dirty Dancing) and Finola Hughes (Like Crazy).

Staying Alive 1This movie has a good story, taking Tony Manero to a new setting and raising the stakes considerably. The acting is good, despite featuring very few recognizable faces. Unfortunately, this is where the film seems to stop working.

Staying Alive 6Coming six years after Saturday Night Fever, the film lacks the mystique of the disco era. Taking away the classic music from the first film, this one replaces it with music that just hasn’t lasted. Sure there are some great BeeGee’s songs mixed in, but the remaining songs are forgettable. The dancing has aged just as badly. Unlike disco, which is still fun to watch, this movie gives you interpretive dance. Between the strange music and overlong dance sequences, this just fails.

Staying Alive 4This is a film that I really wanted to enjoy. Unfortunately the bar was set too high by Saturday Night Fever and the followup is weak in comparison. The acting is good, but it doesn’t do enough to make up for the weaknesses in the film. If you’re a major Travolta fan you might enjoy this one. Otherwise this is one you can cross off the list. I give this one 1.8 out of 5 stars.

Rating: PG

Running Time: 93 Minutes

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