14 January 2013 | TOMASBBloodhound
The real reason this film is so despised...
First off, I've had plenty of negative things to say about it myself. Stayin' Alive in an easy target. Its a sequel. Its full of headbands, tights, and all things early 80s. Its a commercial project lacking the heart and authenticity of the original. When John Travolta's career went south in the 1980s, this film got most of the blame. But recently I visited this Stallone/Travolta project again. After closer inspection, it isn't that bad. Its hardly a great work of cinema, and has some terrible moments. But why so much hate? Why all the Razzies, the lone star from Ebert, and the distinction of being called "the worst sequel of all time"? After intense deliberation, I can come to no other conclusion than "Disco Backlash". By the early 1980s, disco was a dirty word. It was vilified worse that Osama Bin Laden on Sept 12th 2001. Some MLB team blew up a bunch of disco records and their fans got so into it that the game had to be canceled. Punk rockers were threatening Andy Warhol's life just because he liked to frequent Studio 54. A guy in the movie Stripes even wore a tee shirt declaring "Death Before Disco". And what one thing symbolized the age of disco more than Saturday Night Fever? Had it not been for Saturday Night Fever, I dare suggest disco would have faded away quicker than break dancing, Lambada, or Hammer Time. A great film with a great soundtrack brought disco to the world, and made it a major pillar of the history of pop culture. By the time a sequel was announced, the haters were dug in and ready to pounce. It didn't even matter that the sequel had nothing to do with disco, save for Travolta's final strut through Time's Square. All that mattered was Tony Manero and the Bee Gees were back.
Stayin' Alive has its moments. It has definite kinetic energy, tightly filmed dance sequences, a solid cast, and good score. Travolta obviously worked harder for this role than any other in his lengthy career. There are some awful moments, though. Travolta is depressed because the bitchy lead female dancer rejects him, so he decides to WALK home from Manhattan back to his old Brooklyn neighborhood! Mmm hmm. How about his mom in the audience during his breakthrough performance at the premiere of "Satan's Alley"? "Where did he learn to do this?" Puhlease! But that awesome song "Far From Over" by Frank Stallone is enough to erase a lot of the film's shortcomings. Believe me, its not as bad as advertised. 6 of 10 stars.