After 20 years abroad, Mark Renton returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie.After 20 years abroad, Mark Renton returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie.After 20 years abroad, Mark Renton returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie.
Most of all a sequel and fan service to modern classic Trainspotting" (1996), still a damn fine junkie movie in its own right, which flung Ewan McGregor and director Danny Boyle to international movie career-dom.
It also certainly helped the other stars such as Kelly Macdonald, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller and Ewen Bremner – but they have stayed relatively less known to wider public, especially just by the name.
I don't want to reveal too much about the events but the Renton is back home and tries to make up with the old buddies that he robbed blind before leaving for good 20 years ago.
So, the gang is back, ready to give choosing life another go. If you care about the first movie, you will probably like the new one too. If you don't know the characters and faces, then it's probably harder to hop on the Scottish city youth working class junkie" train and instantly care about the main characters and their quarrels.
But everybody behind and in front of the camera gives their darndest best to make you like the material, and they succeed. The result has enough action, humor, suspense, and depth to be recommended for newcomers also.
Both Trainspottings" are partially based on the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh. The 1996's movie was a straight-er adaptation, the second one uses a bit of both the original novel and the sequel Porno" to create something new-ish.
It would be fair to call the result an action comedy that stands on its own, but keeping the original's sense of black comedy intact, and the characters of course.
T2" may not look much like the Trainspotting" but it feels so fresh and captivating that that's not gonna be a problem. We will get all kinds of tongue-in-cheek nods to the original experience but the visual style is exciting and modern, as it should many years later. Boyle truly is one of the more interesting directors working today, as his countless fans would gladly agree.
.I've read many of Welsh's books, including Trainspotting" and Porno". I've also seen all of the movie versions (excluding Ecstasy"), with the favorite being The Acid House". I feel that T2" is the most un-Welsh-like adaptation so far, and it strays from the novel, but it's not a bad thing because the movie makers have managed to carve out something new, fresh and interesting.
There's less of doing drugs in T2" but somehow there's an even sharper sense of what drugs can do to a person and relationships in the long run. The deeper message is sharp: if you don't find a meaning to your life, there's not gonna be much of a life for you in store.
Acting is fine all around but I especially like how much Carlyle as the notorious Begbie has changed. He seems even more reckless, horrifying and dangerous than before – up there with cinema history's greatest bad guys surely –, but there's also a new unspoken dimension of sadness and unlived potential which the actor translates and brings to the screen. It's a masterful performance and actually the emotional anchor to movie as a whole.
So all in all, this is a good example of a sequel done right. I did not exactly need this but am surely glad that they made it anyway, and with some conviction and purpose. It will not stay in memory as long as the predecessor but it's well made in every aspect!
- Mar 20, 2017