24 February 2017 | grantss
Great follow-up to a brilliant movie
20 years after betraying his friends and running off with (almost) all the money from a scam, Mark Renton is back in Edinburgh. It is his first time back since the events that split him, Spud and Simon apart. He looks up Spud and Simon but their lives are hardly much better than when he last saw them. Spud, after getting his life together, has seen it all unravel, to the point that he is suicidal. Simon is running his father's loss-making pub, in between bouts of blackmail. Meanwhile, the fourth person in their caper of 20 years' ago, the psychotically intense Begbie, is in jail. He has no intention of staying incarcerated and revenge is foremost on his mind...
The original Trainspotting was brilliant. Funny, gritty and harrowing it dealt with the issue of drug addiction in a suffocatingly intense yet humorous way. It wasn't just about drug addiction but friendship and, ultimately, about a crime caper and betrayal.
Directed by Danny Boyle, who directed Trainspotting 1, Trainspotting 2 doesn't have the grimness of the first movie, as the drug addiction side is hardly a factor. For me, that is what made Trainspotting 1 a masterpiece, the way it covered drug addiction in a realistic yet humorous manner. T2 is more about friendship and the after-effects of T1's betrayal, resulting it being more of an action-revenge sort of movie.
Plot is good, though there are some contrivances and inconsistencies. Quite emotional at times too, as we see some loops from T1 closed, friends reunited and 40-somethings taking stock of their lives.
Humour-wise, T2 is great, and as good as, if not better than, T1. Some very funny scenes and dialogue.
Not essential that you've watched T1 to follow and enjoy T2, as there are enough flashbacks and other clues to fill you in on what happened in T1. However, watching T1 before T2 certainly would help the experience. There are plenty of side-references and subtle nods to T1 and these enhance the enjoyment of T2.
Overall, a great movie, though not in the same league as Trainspotting 1. Very funny at times, with a good plot and some interesting themes.