T2 Trainspotting (18)
T2 Trainspotting (18)
Run time: 117mins
Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald, Shirley Henderson
Synopsis: Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton returns to the only place he can call home and they are waiting for him: Spud; Sick Boy and the psychopathic Begbie,
T2 is Danny Boyle’s much anticipated sequel to his 1996 film of Irvine Welsh’s blistering, uncompromising first novel Trainspotting, which was turned into a cult favourite and defining hit of 1990s British cinema.
T2 reunites the key figures of the original cast and creative team, including writer John Hodge, whose screenplay is loosely based on Welsh’s follow up novel, Porno.
Renton (Ewan McGregor) has been living comfortably in Amsterdam until a health scare and guilt at missing his mother’s funeral brings him back to Edinburgh, where he finds Spud (Ewen Bremner) in a very bad way, drugs-wise. Sick Boy – now known as Simon – (Jonny Lee Miller) is running a crummy bar and attempting to carve a business out of a prostitution and blackmail extortion racket.
Begbie (Robert Carlyle) has been incarcerated for the past twenty years, but the opening of the film finds him planning an escape to be with his wife and child.
Old friends share familiar memories, tinged with feelings of sorrow, loss, longing, regret and a tendency to self-destruction in this funny, emotional paen to middle-aged disappointment and mortality.
With flashbacks, another cracking soundtrack of original favourites and new sounds, this brutal black comedy makes us care about this unlikely bunch of aging anti-heroes – we hope that they can make it and choose life in a brave new world of zero hours contracts and social media.
The plot is modest, mostly driven by the characters’ desire for revenge against Renton who had ripped them off at the end of the first film – with the exception of the philosophical Spud who says, “First there is an opportunity and then there is a betrayal…” which probably says something deeper about life itself.
T2 is all you would expect from a follow-up to the original Trainspotting – great punchy entertainment, a cracking pace, very bad language and some hilarious set-pieces (look out for the Bellshill Orange Club sequence here!) A film recommended both for those who were around for the original in the 1990s, and those who are newcomers to the joys of Trainspotting.
Images courtesy of Sony Pictures