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  • Warning: Spoilers
    I was the key demographic for the first film when it was released. I somehow snuck into the theater a few years shy of being 18 (and legal) to see it, and it had the same effect on me that it did on so many. The slick production, now-iconic soundtrack, grimy aesthetic, grim humor - it hit me hard (pun intended). Of course at that age, as gen-x cynical and world-weary as I thought myself, I was naive. Drugs were still novel, I was yet to see how dark and sad an actual addiction would look like. On some unconscious level I felt like I would live forever. A misplaced sense of my own intrinsic genius would allow me to balance an appreciation of the seedier, self destructive elements of the world with the actuality of my own inevitable personal success. As such, I walked out of Trainspotting 1 with a spring in my step. It was fun, fast, clever and a quick and temporary tour through some really ugly things. It was 'cool'.

    Sequels to iconic movies are dangerous, and there are many that I've avoided simply due to the knowledge that I'd rather not sully a great film's memory by adding to it a mediocre sequel. T2 was the same - I'd toyed with seeing it in the theater, but when that never eventuated, I was fairly unfazed. Tonight, feeling a little sleepless and lonely in my single room apartment, I stumbled upon a copy and thought 'why not?'. I knew that the reviews has oscillated between 'quite bad' to 'surprisingly good' but in a fit of downbeat nostalgia, I thought it might fit the bill. And it did.

    It wont be remembered with the reverence of the first film. I don't believe that Boyle made it under that assumption. It contains some great sequences, some similar (if familiar) visual effects, and a heap of well-integrated allusions to the earlier film. It doesn't have anything with the cut-through of the baby scene, the toilet scene, the (original) 'choose life' monologue. It is a more subdued, 'adult' and downbeat film. So - if you are a teenager who has recently seen the first film and are chasing the gut-punch intensity by watching the sequel, I can almost guarantee you'll fell let down. Conversely, if you've aged with the film, I suspect you'll find a good degree of resonance with the film. The genius of the film is how it manages to be a deeper, more emotional, more (god forbid) 'mature' take on life.

    At nearly-forty you probably don't party like you did in your 20's. Drugs are out, or few and far between. Meeting nubile 20 year olds is also out, or if not, feels seedy. You no longer find revolutionary new music weekly. IN fact, half of the songs on radio just alienate you. Despite the mixed blessings of this unforeseen middle -aged-ness you've found yourself shouldering, you are still a little haunted by what was, and what could have been. The wonderful moments of being young, the mistakes, the missed opportunities, the near-misses, the opportunities and betrayal. They don't leave you.

    If you can appreciate any of what I just wrote, you may (like I do) find T2 to be a very close second to T1. It's a real downer, but in a bittersweet way. Check it out.
  • Sequels long after its original is always risky business. Especially one that I did not think needed it. But director Danny Boyle is back with a follow-up to one of the most influential British films of all-time.

    I had only seen Trainspotting for the first time several years ago. I remember being quite impressed by it, despite me never going nuts for drug-related films. I was more interested by the style of film- making and well developed characters. It also contain one of the most distressing scenes I have seen in any film.

    21 years later, and now we see where the lads are now. I saw the trailer to see if it's going to be worth it, and I was surprised how good it looked. Some of the dialogue I was hearing sounded like we were instantly back in this mad environment. With the trailer doing plenty to get me intrigued, I had pretty solid hopes for a worth sequel.

    Amazingly, I felt it managed to all come together. For something that I'm sure Boyle holds very dearly to his heart, you would expect him to never go near this work again. Especially when he has never done a sequel before. But we are now here, and I think everyone did a grand job. I did not get the sense that the makers made this for an easy box office return. I felt it was there to be an actual follow-up to the events from 1996, which is fantastic to see. The tone is definitely being aimed at the people who grew up with the original. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see how it works to the generation that are of the age the cast were in the original, and see if it can relate to a broad age range.

    The gang are back, and all four of them were great in their performances. Honestly, it was like they had never left. Ewan McGregor holds the film well as Renton, has many strong moments and you can tell he is enjoying getting back in the saddle. Roberty Carlyle continues to be as hilarious as Begbie was back in the day. Ewen Bremner as Spud shines the most for me, was given great development and became such a pivotal part of this sequel. I was really surprised to see Johnny Lee Miller give a great performance, as it is only recently that he has got back into movie acting after being busy with a TV series.

    Another thing some sections of the audience like to see with sequels, is the level of nostalgia. The use of that and memory was cleverly done. It felt like it meant something, instead of just making us think "I'd rather be watching the original".

    I have only very minor negatives. There were moments that felt a bit scattered at times and did not feel that well connected to the main story.

    I was not expecting this to be so enjoyable. Boyle and his done have done a great job by keeping this a down-to-earth story and making feel like it deserves a second installment. I think what the films big strengths are, is what made the original so successful. The characters are still as memorable as ever, the writing is sharp and funny when needed, the visuals are engrossing and impactful, and the soundtrack is strong. They also managed to make the film worth seeing for people who haven't even seen the original, which was impressive to see.

    When you think about it, a lot of Danny Boyle's work is about friendship, and this one is no different. I will continue to be excited for his next project, after making what will probably one of the big surprises of 2017. What a start to the year!

    Rating: 8/10
  • What's up with all the rave reviews?

    Look, it's not the worst movie ever made, but it's one of the most pointless. The first was a force of nature that gripped you from the beginning and took you on an adventure in a world foreign to most of us. And it was hilarious, filled with unforgettable scenes and belly laughs. This sequel is a nostalgic, where are they know, look back at the main characters from the original.

    It starts out choppy, never picks up a real driving force, and kind of meanders around until it finds a way to end. Begbie is supposed to be the villain that makes this thing move, but the rest of the crew aren't stupid kids anymore, and the fear he instills in the other characters just doesn't seem genuine. The Veronika character seems so forced. There's no groundwork laid to set up her relationship with Sick Boy or Renton. Her character is just too wise and put together to be a hooker hanging out with this sad lot of old junkies.

    Trainspotting had a compelling dynamic based on doomed friendships of young junkies, and the attempt to escape the impending doom by the protagonist. There was a force driving the movie from start to end. And there were non-stop laughs along the way mixed in with junkie philosophy and trippy drug-fueled scenes. That's all missing in this sad sequel, which walks in the footsteps of its predecessor, half-heartedly mimicking it. I wish I had just watched the first one again instead.
  • T2 is all you could hope a sequel can be. Independent and respectful to its predecessor while standing on its own merits as a great movie, art even, powerful maybe. 20 years on things have changed,mostly. It's funny,sad and mature above all else. Boyles directing is complemented with a great script and beautiful cinematography. On to the important aspects, the film plays cleverly With nostalgia without depending on it,giving the audience of the 1996 cult classic something to savor, while also standing independently as an entertaining and even inventive film. Performances are a solid as you'd expect, Robert Carlyle returns in a fantastic albeit expected performance as begbie. The film introduces the advancement in technology over the intervening years with inventive and clever special effects, however the original also boasted some amazing trick of the lens. Finally upon leaving the cinema one gets a feeling of bittersweet and sorrowful fulfillment, the characters we've come to know over the last 20 years hive us nearly two hours of nostalgia packed entertainment, yet one can't help but long for its energetic,frenetic and classic predecessor, no matter how good its sequel is, and it is.
  • An immensely challenging sequel to produce; Danny Boyle's reprisal was never going to satisfy old fans and newcomers alike.

    After twenty years, there would be obvious ambiguity in how to go about writing and directing this cult-classics' sequel. 2017 is brimming with sequels of both original movies and installments to well-established series; thus this may be a recurring issue in the near future. T2 Trainspotting is very clearly a movie made for the fans of the original, for people who loved the first film but haven't watched it in years, and have fond memories of it. This film preys upon the fact that some people will be so wound up in their own nostalgia that they won't give this film the independence from the original it needed.

    T2 struggles to declare itself a story of its own; literal scenes from the original Trainspotting are shown to portray a reflection on the past repeating itself; but all that this shows is an unwillingness to write a completely original plot. It is likely Danny Boyle did this to appease fans, as going in a completely different direction would then annoy those who are devoted to the first film.

    The story has a great premise; the Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Scotland and meets with the lovable Spud (Ewen Bremner) and best-pal Simon (Jonny Lee Miller) once again - much to their initial disgust. Not long after, the return of Begbie (Robert Carlyle) fills the plot with more drama than a soap opera. The events that take place are mostly for comedic purpose, under the premise that the audience already know the characters (fair to assume, but not taking into account standalone viewers). A specific scene in which Simon and Mark are forced to perform a song in a loyalist pub had me laughing out loud in the cinema; so often the attempts at making the film light- hearted were received with a good response.

    That being said, one of the things about the original is that it wasn't light hearted in the slightest. The characters were the only thing lovable about the film, not what happened to them necessarily, whereas T2 swaps this around - the environments were far more ostentatious in this film, bright neon lighting and fewer disgusting and dull backdrops make for a more optimistic view in this film - quite the opposite of what the original was about. It seems in trying to appease the fans of the original and placing the same characters in a repetitive-yet more flamboyant setting has managed to stray from the roots of what made Trainspotting great.

    T2 could have been set anywhere provided the main characters still acted in the way that they do, and that's a shame - every piece of Trainspotting was necessary to put together the plot that was made.

    Despite all of this - T2 is a good film. It's not a great film, but it certainly isn't awful either. Its' greatest failing is that it can't decide whether to create an entirely new story - which would abandon the roots of the original - or to re-hash Trainspotting - which would be total cowardice. The film does the worst of both worlds, in that it doesn't have a great deal of original thought but it also doesn't capture what the first film did.

    On its own merits, T2 is a funny film; and it is enjoyable to watch. I didn't leave the theatre as disappointed as I would have anticipated, and the film didn't fail to put a smile on my face during. Despite the 20 year gap, the actors clearly haven't lost track of their alter-ego's nature - the performances were great and the chemistry that the actors had was immense, with a gleaming nod to Robert Carlyle.

    I can still say I recommend T2, its not like the original in terms of quality or theme, but I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy myself. I can make an odd comparison to another sequel, Aliens, in that both T2 and Aliens are very enjoyable, but both films also spoil the point of their predecessor in a sense.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As we are frequently reminded during the course of T2, it's been 20 years since Danny Boyle's iconic and culturally eye-opening Trainspotting. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) and his cronies, in a monologue no doubt quotable to anybody who was a teenager in 1996, famously decided not to choose life, and instead were on course for a wasted existence of heroin addiction and crime. The main question asked by this sequel is: Was it worth it? The group fans were so eager to see back together may have less hair and more body fat, but they have finally put aside personal squabbles (McGregor and Boyle made up after the former was overlooked in favour of Leonard Di Caprio for The Beach) and worked around ongoing contracts to reunite. While T2 struggles to find a consistent tone and somewhat falls apart during its final act, it will no doubt put a smile on any fan's face.

    The fragility of male machismo and the sudden emergence of middle- age are key themes running throughout the film, constantly harking back and reminding the audience with sly nods of how much fun these guys were 20 years ago. Trainspotting began with a skinny, pale- faced Renton running from store security, but here he runs dead-eyed on a treadmill. Although it would seem that Renton successfully put himself on the straight-and-narrow in Amsterdam after robbing his friends blind at the climax of the first film, he finds himself compelled to visit his past after suffering a medical scare. Returning to Edinburgh, not much has changed. Simon, aka Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), is still running scams, now with his Bulgarian 'girlfriend' Veronica (Anjela Nedyalkova); Spud (Ewen Bremner) lives alone and is hated by his embarrassed son, successfully getting himself off heroin before making his way back to it; and the psychopathic Begbie (Robert Carlyle) is behind bars serving a 25 year jail term.

    Irvine Welsh's sequel to the hit novel, Porno, has been talked about as a film adaptation ever since the first film struck so many chords with its audience. T2 is not this adaptation, but instead takes inspiration from Porno, as well as unused material from its predecessor, to create an original story. A straight-forward follow- up would not have done the fans justice. The cultural impact was so significant that Trainspotting played a big part in many young people's lives, to the point where just to hear the opening few seconds of Lou Reed's Perfect Day or Underworld's Born Slippy could transport any 30-40 year old back to their youth. Boyle knows this, and teases us in a scene where Renton re-visits his childhood home and fiddles with a record player. The stomping drums of Iggy Pop's Lust for Life pumps out before he suddenly takes the needle off the record. In that split second, the excitement comes flooding back. Yet T2 isn't just a trip down nostalgia lane, it confronts you with the difficult question of whether or not you are where you thought you'd be when life seemed more care-free.

    Cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle infuses the sequel with a modern energy, opting for a more colourful palette made dirtier with digital grain. It contrasts the films' two different styles by slotting in actual scenes from the original, often juxtaposing events happening now with the characters' memories. The main conflict revolves around Begbie's escape from prison and his learning of Renton's reemergence in Edinburgh, as well as Sick Boy's resentment of his former best friend robbing him of his share in the drug deal gone right. Begbie uneasily shifts between comic relief and genuine antagonist, and Boyle seems unsure what to do with the character. The biggest revelation is Bremner's Spud, who is still the most sympathetic reprobate ever to emerge from Welsh's text. Boyle and screenwriter John Hodge ingeniously find a way to make him front and centre, turning this into his story, and Bremner's performance is truly heartbreaking. A mishandled climax and a lack of development for Veronica means that T2 falls way short of its predecessor, and this will perhaps not have the same impact on any audience members who saw Trainspotting outside of the '90s. But for those of us who did, this is a welcome send-off.
  • 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.
  • A cinematic approximation of getting older has its own footage as proof. Aging in art can only be a heightened reflection. It must dramatize the abstraction of looking at old photos. In this case, they're trapped within this Black Mirror-hell of being from T1 and projecting a reality where that universe never went away. Sorry!

    The sameiness in fact is what makes this truly horrifyingly depressing and I wished they pitied them to leave them in the 90s. For instance, being a sequel all we have to go on is the old footage, then all their lives show an unhealthy obsession with that heist gone wrong, as if Trainspotting despite its aimlessness was just as important to them as it was to the 90s.

    Of course life can very much trap you in the past. Its style: Danny Boyle's groundbreaking audio visual kaleidoscope fragmented sort of cinema, even subdued with age, is fun, though limited via point and shoot, digital, and his aging sensibility: the dutch angle at his age would nearly be like seniors breakdancing.

    We wait for where a style meet its time. It's like rare and far between. So the 90s joyously gave us a bit of expressionism on film that is long gone (although Hackers still beat him at his own game as the ultimate irresponsible MTV music video take on cinema). Then somewhere in the mid 00s the rewards poured in. Part of it is his sheer economy of point and shoot where the art goes in its edit and conception, creates giant amounts of results for less money.

    Who said study economics, not art. Go to law school, not film school was my favorite.

    It's all a depressing sort of gimmick here, like a glorified Transpotting bonus feature on the disc. Yet neither does it feel wrong, while being a feat in its authenticity how it arranged the same cast and tones all these years later. And a director who time was kind to, getting better and more powerful in his industry, so tossed them a coin within his body of work; he stopped by to pay these fond old friends a visit.
  • Following in the recent trend of dated sequels, reboots and kick-starts (literally and figuratively) here Danny Boyle's 90s cult classic gets a final shot in the arm; loosely hanging its narrative and character development around Irving Welsh's literary sequel 'Porno' and trying to circumnavigate a world two decades older – and wearier – than its predecessor (despite the book only giving way to nine).

    All of the familiar faces are back – and those who aren't are at least in some way alluded to or given a not-so-subtle nod – but now generally referred to by their given names: Mark (Renton), Simon (Sick-Boy), Danny (Spud) and Frank (Begbie). And generally speaking, T2 is very much a nostalgia piece, revisiting all of the iconic imagery, scenery and/or moments which made the first movie so overtly unique, refreshing and unforgettable: from the worst toilet in Scotland, to parallel chase sequence moments, to snarky comments about the danger of underage girls; this follow-up seems almost determined to create an abstract sense of reflection. We as an audience are offered the chance to relive and reminisce on past glories in much the same way as the characters on-screen are. The misanthropic tone is a far cry from the jubilant anger of the first incarnation however and McGregor's lengthy 'Choose Life' explanatory diatribe (citing more modern pitfalls of Facebook, Twitter and "Slut Shaming") is the only real moment in which any character fully engages and communicates a sense of circumstantial disillusionment. On a positive note, the character development of Spud – who emerges as the primary, sympathetic protagonist – is excellent; despite what feels like a somewhat-forced, Hollywood-friendly, conclusive arc for Ewen Bremner's dim-witted addict. Overall, it's a serviceable enough cap tip to the original, but truthfully lacks the bark or bite to have the modern day resonance it craves (and the original so easily garnered).
  • It's not often I go to the cinema to watch a day-one screening, but my love of Irvine Welsh and the previous Trainspotting film meant I just could not resist.

    This film is a wonderful show of friendship and Begbie's psycho temper which encapsulates left over stories from the first book and large portions of 'Porno' the following book.

    I'm pleased to announce that all characters still have that beautiful chemistry featured in the original and work to provide scenes of pure comedy genius and others of emotion and absolute anger. The film really lives and breathes nostalgia of its predecessor, as well as showing how, even if we all change on the outside, we are still the same on the insides. We all make the same choices in life over and over.

    My only complaint with this film is that it didn't feel as slick as the first film. This is probably because of the vast improvements in cinematography which you'd expect considering there's an over 20 year age gap. Transitional shots mean you're waiting that little bit longer, but you are probably looking at some of the best views Scotland has to offer in that time.

    To sum up, I'd have to say this film is essential viewing for anybody who's seen the first film or read the books. There are so many references which you'll pick up on, leaving you with a wry and joyous smile throughout. For anyone else, you need to watch the original film first (and understand Scottish for anyone reading not in the UK), but I assure you that this film will not disappoint. It's textbook Danny Boyle packed full of nostalgia
  • I was quite excited to see what Boyle and the gang could deliver with a follow-up.

    Disappointment. Disappointment is what they delivered, if I'm honest. Let's just get this out the way first before I attempt to judge it on it's own merits; it just didn't feel like Trainspotting. Sure, all the characters are back, but Spud was the only one that really felt like the older version of his younger self. Renton is bland, uninteresting, and looks far too polished thanks to a now world-famous Ewan McGregor, Begbie's stint in jail seems to have robbed him of any sense of intimidation (ironically thanks to not being scrawny any more), and while Sick Boy's bleach-blonde hair and failed entrepreneurial mannerisms are still intact, he lacks the smarm from the first film (possibly forgivable considering the twenty years that have passed). Then there's the lack of narration, interspersed flashbacks, and a restraint in how much it actually decides to show, and it pretty much lacks any of the things that made the first film so revolutionary, and instead gives way to a much more traditional and Hollywood- polished film.

    But judged on it's own merits? The story is a little lacking, bar a few choice moments and sub-plots. The first act is entirely focused on showing where these guys have been for the last twenty years. Renton is back from Amsterdam with a wedding ring on his finger and a story of ill health, Sick Boy has been pimping out his girlfriend in order to blackmail wealthy individuals with a particular fetish that's not all that shocking by today's standards, Begbie's been couped in prison, and Spud lived a happy life with Gail and their son, until he lost everything thanks to British Summer Time and reverted back to the life of a junkie. It takes quite a while before they all band together; Renton, Sick Boy and Spud endeavour to create a "sauna" in a pub Sick Boy inherited, while Begbie is out for violent vengeance against Renton. As stories go, it's a little underwhelming, and ultimately boils down to spoiling the perfectly profound ending of the first film through over-explaining.

    It's not a complete failure though. Begbie's place in the story adds excitement and tension, and thankfully stays true to his character, but is ultimately a little superfluous and coincidental (he manages to break out of jail the same time Renton returns?). Spud's sub-plot is by far the most interesting, the most heart-felt, and the most powerful. He was a little pushed aside in the first film, but he welcomes a lot of great development the second time around.

    Humour-wise, again it has it's moments, but is otherwise a little underwhelming. Renton and Sick Boy's song about a conflict in 1690 is certainly an entertaining highlight, and many of Begbie's scenes are bathed in a cruel sense of light- heartedness, but in all I didn't find myself laughing all that much. Satirically it's lacking as well. It tries to poke fun at middle aged men in a modern world they don't fully understand, but it often feels like being whacked over the head with a 2x4. Renton's updated 'Choose Life' speech, for instance, lacks any resemblance of sarcasm or subtext and pretty much just spells it out for you.

    Musically it's a bit of a mixed bag, and I mean that literally. It attempts to strike a smooth balance between those iconic tracks of the movie twenty years ago, as well as injecting some music a little more modern. Iggy Pop's Lust for Life and Underworld's Born Slippy return, but not as you remember them; the former remixed by The Prodigy, and the latter slowed down and warped. For modern music there's a selection ranging from Wolf Alice to Young Fathers, and just to appeal to the older viewers and their nostalgia there's a heavy dose of Pet Shop Boys, Queen, and Blondie. Ultimately though, none of it is nearly as iconic or memorable as it wants to be. The modern tracks are bland and forgettable, and the old tracks are so overused they've drifted into cliché. Honestly, the remixes were the best part of the whole soundtrack, embodying the very notion of the old, modernised.

    T2 isn't a complete trainwreck. Judged on it's own merits it's a well-made film that tells an interesting, if slightly underwhelming tale of middle-aged men in a modern world they don't understand. The last twenty years haven't been kind to this group of friends, and the next twenty don't hold any promises either; "He gave me thirty years. What am I supposed to do with thirty years? Two or three I could figure something out, but thirty?!" At the end of the day, T2 can't decide if it wants to be it's own thing, or be a direct descendant of it's predecessor. It wants to break away with a new format and new sensibilities, but can't stop itself from pointing out the connections with blunt-force trauma. I give T2 Trainspotting a disappointingly average 6/10. If I ever watch it again, it'll purely be for Spud's sub-plot, which was actually brilliant.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After 21 years of waiting, the sequel to 'Trainspotting' has finally become a reality, and what a fantastic ride it is. Sure it lacks the flare that made the original the classic it is, but with new ideas and a worthy plot that wraps up the original's ending, 'T2 Trainspotting' finds inventive ways to allow us to love the characters we grew up with.

    Returning to Edinburgh after 20 years in Amsterdam, Renton tries to re-connect with his former crew (Spud, Simon and Begbie) despite leaving them robbed at the conclusion of the first film. With a mix of black comedy and emotionally resonant drama, we are launched back into each of the individual's lives as their past comes back to haunt them. With beautiful cinematography, a fantastic soundtrack that once famously featured Lou Reed's 'Perfect Day' and Iggy Pop's 'Lust for Life' and a rather intense conclusion that leaves us on the edge of our seats, a very worthy sequel.
  • "Porno" wasn't a great Irvine Welsh book, but at least it introduced new characters and updated us on the whereabouts of the original Trainspotting crew. The "prequel" Skag Boys was to my mind much much better.

    The problem is, Porno couldn't really be filmed, as it concentrates on the filming of pornography. So instead, some elements (but not many) of it have been lifted to make T2, but most of T2 is "original". It's around 5% Porno if that.

    However, I'd estimate that maybe 10 minutes in total of T2 is direct samples of the first film. Sure, have a bit of it in there, but we all know that T2 is a sequel of a film famous enough to have stuck in our memories. And I felt that constant referring back was after a while unnecessary, and intrusive.

    There wasn't a single scene in "T2" that could hold up to anything in the original. Not one.

    Look, I'm glad I saw it, but it's not something I'd really watch again more than once. Some films are classics because they are of their time: Trainspotting; Pulp Fiction; the Big Lebowski; Withnail and I. Trying to do a sequel for any of them is going to be a pointless exercise, you could never do one that holds a candle to the original.

    What Boyle and co have tried to do in "T2" could have been much worse; but it couldn't have been much better either. The past is the past, and we should leave it there.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This review of T2: Trainspotting is spoiler free

    **** (4/5)

    "They may be twenty years older when trying to reconnect but they are still none the wiser", was the quote from director Danny Boyle when promoting T2: Trainspotting that may be so but they have still moments of seriousness. They still have the emotion, the same taste or even the same mindset as they try to remember their time from 20 years ago. When Boyle announced that he was going to direct the very long-awaited sequel to the original 1996 cult classic, based on Irvine Welsh's fifth novel Porno there was a lot of controversy from fans of the first one; how would they do it? Where will it go? Does it need a sequel? Can you make a sequel after this long? Were the first few of their many questions that they asked, but when the release was announced it soon turned into one of the most anticipated British film sequels of all time. But is it as good?

    The film opens with Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) living in Amsterdam, dreaming of the past and all the good times he had with his friends, Begbie, Sick Boy and Spud, all those times they shared jokes and even had the odd bit of drugs. Then we transfer to Edinburgh, to Frank Begbie (Robert Carlyle) currently spending time in prison. Through to Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller) an owner of one of the top bars in Scotland, then we spend with Spud (Ewan Bremner) who is trying to get back with his wife (Shirley Henderson) and kid, but also still goes through the addiction to heroine he had all those years ago. The arrival of Renton back at Edinburgh, they suddenly become happier but they also question him to see what he has been up to "Hello Mark, so what have you been up to for twenty years?" Sick Boy asks him towards the start of the film, it's a question that feels as if it's never going to be answered – seemingly hinting that we will never know what he has been up to. He does start to answer, stating that he had a job, a wife and a couple of kids but he is then interrupted by Boyle's transitioning to another character.

    It's a slightly disjointed opening to the very long-awaited sequel and it takes a while for the film to recover from it, but what happens after that during the second act slightly makes up for it. With Renton and Simon (a.k.a Sick Boy) trying to reconnect after years apart, it takes a while granted but when they finally join they are up to their previous shenanigans what essentially made the film's predecessor manic, but it goes of that style and tries to go a little more serious there are a couple of zingers from each of the characters, whereby Trainspotting had an insane amount of hilarious moments it's sequel veers away from it, it's as if these twenty have entirely changed these people. However their friendship falls with the return of Begbie who wants to reconnect with Sick Boy and Spud after spending years in prison but with Renton he still remembers what he did to him all that time ago, he wants revenge after being betrayed out of a lot of money, meanwhile Spud comes up with a new hobby to right stories of their time together, it's a way for him to come off the drugs and hopefully to get back with his wife. This starts to affect him dearly when he remembers one of his friends. It's a slightly blunt look back at the past as there are only a few fresh but short flashbacks of each of them.

    There are times when T2: Trainspotting riffs on the same aspects as its predecessor, especially one moment when Simon's partner Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova) wants to hear what Renton's mantra "Choose life" means, he states the many things that she could choose, it's a moment that is short but it brings back a slight feeling of nostalgia, yet there are many moments through the entire film that do that, though it's a blunt force of nostalgia that runs throughout there are many times when we feel it. In the second act it is a bit muddled as it tries to make up for the disjointed moments in the opening, the third certainly makes up for it, this is when it becomes the sequel we've all been waiting for. It becomes a little manic, there are many funny moments, some sad moments and there are some moments within the third act that bring back a lot of nostalgia, there is even a stunning shot of the three friends, going back to their former lives. It's fair to say the third act is the best part of the film that couldn't have come more timely. Sure enough T2: Trainspotting isn't anywhere near as manic, funny or as good as it's predecessor but there is still plenty here to enjoy for Boyle's first directed sequel, that time that we all waited is worth it as this film fills the twenty hole left from the first movie.

    VERDICT: Boyle's first ever sequel isn't as good or as manic as it's predecessor but there is still plenty here to enjoy, it's sometimes funny, it's sad and best of all it's a nostalgic look back to the 1996 cult classic, one of the best movies of 2017 so far.
  • The original Trainspotting was One of the most stylish, iconic, shocking and funniest films of the 90s decade - now its back with the same cast and director and based on a novel by the author of Trainspotting. What could go wrong - well everything really. This film is a lazy sequel where the only good points are the nods it gives to the original. Anyone who hasn't seen the original will wonder what all the fuss is about as T2 is like a cheap TV movie. No humour, average acting (at best), forgettable soundtrack and weak story. The original was imaginative, almost artistic- well it was about heroin after all! T2 in comparison felt like a cobbled together load of weak comedy sketches. By the end I couldn't have cared which characters lived or died. This sequel I predict will be soon forgotten about and then we can all get back to talking about how great the Trainspotting was. Danny Boyle has made another dud film although I'm sure he'll earn lots from us nostalgics. Choose life - choose another film.
  • Checked IMDb before watching. Saw the rave reviews but sadly these people seem to be blinded by nostalgia. Please don't believe the fanboy-ism.

    Take away the nostalgic factor and you're left with mediocrity. A generic uninspired by-the-numbers production that has nothing in common with the original only the name and the same familiar faces.

    Sadly this seems to be the norm these days and fits in with modern times perfectly of generic sequels and reboots without any substance. Gone are the days of creativity and originality that gave birth to classic movies like trainspotting in the past.

    Worst part: The plot is so paper thin it might as well have been written for a cartoon. Zero effort has been put into the storyline. It felt lazy, soulless, uninspired. No creativity whatsoever.

    It says a lot when the best part of a movie are the flashbacks to the original 21 year old predecessor. A sad state of affairs.
  • how can you do something like that?! transform a movie that was an introspect, a philosophy, a guide for so many 90'ers into a bad taste humour comedy?! i wasn't t expecting much from a sequel, but come on! this is like comparing Lou Reed to 50 cent. it's just a confirmation that we live in a shite era where not only are we incapable of making something good, worth watching, but we also destroy the memory of what was once good. same idea applies to music! really disappointed.

    Well, at one time, you've got it, and then you lose it, and it's gone forever.
  • Like everyone else, I loved the original, who didn't? Maybe my mum. Which is exactly the idea of rock n roll. It was a cultural master piece, the music, fashion, the poster. Being a film poster designer at the time we were all in ore or how ground breaking & cool that poster was.

    This is by no means a bad film. I just think it shouldn't have been made.

    The constant nostalgia references are tedious. Begbie's character is a total parody, so much so that I cringed when ever he was on screen.

    The soundtrack was easily forgettable too. And why oh why did they have to keep playing remixes of the old tracks? Again, tedious.

    As for the choose speech, a total cringe festival.

    They should have made more of the brothel idea.

    Some films are best left as master pieces. This should have been left to the one film
  • benthomas-494241 February 2017
    Trainspotting, the iconic film from my youth. I have been looking forward to the sequel with the eager anticipation of a junkie who just got their hands on some of Afghanistan's finest. As my belt loosened, I slumped back into the large leather sofa, glazed eyes fixed on the screen and full of warm contentment for the hit I was about to receive…

    …Indeed 'T2' was a trip down memory lane - a contrived trip down a lane that meandered meaninglessly without any apparent beginning or end. A lane with more p(l)ot holes than the cobbled backstreets of Leith.

    To reassemble the original cast was a coup that ensured those who loved the original would flock to see the sequel and spend their cash to get another dose of the good stuff. But this time it was hard to relate to those same characters that had oozed so much charisma in the original. It felt like they were all trying just that little bit too hard, likely in an effort to atone for the distinct lack of plot and skittish direction this instalment offered.

    As the movie jumped from one gratifying, yet ultimately self-serving piece of cinematography to the next, it became clear that 'T2' lacked a thread from which to hang the heavily affected nostalgia that felt obvious, yet pretentious. The original appealed to the disaffected youth of the working classes and way beyond; the sequel felt like it had been conceived to appeal to the conceited masses who 'Chose life. a job. a career. a family…and that 3-piece suite' a long time ago - and it lacked substance as a result.

    Maybe I was too comfortable, drinking my large glass of Rioja on the comfy £16 sofa-seat to really engage – or maybe I was just too pisshed… But as the anticipation waned, I realised this wasn't the real-deal. The injection of wonder I was hoping for turned out to be nothing more than a sugary-sweet placebo that left me disappointed and in need of more. "Just one more hit Renton, just one more hit."
  • I watched the first and was impressed at the way it was filmed, the characters were at times hard to watch but compelling viewing. I could relate to their life style and was drawn in and made to care about the people I was watching. Enough about the original. This sequel was uncomfortable watching and not in a good way. We are given a blow by blow introduction the original cast. I was waiting throughout the movie to actually give a damn for anybody. It left me cold, and I was one waiting with anticipation for T2. I don't know if it was the director, the writing or the acting. Someones to blame. Even throughout the movie, the original soundtrack is hinted but nothing solid. Choose life... maybe not this sequel. Perhaps worth a watch, but do not have high expectations.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm not sure what you wanted for this film, with the endless negative reviews.

    I'm sure Doyle works to sell movies and get the cult following like he has, the original Trainspotting was one of if not the best film of the 90's.

    What do you all want? A group of reckless teenagers taking heroin having loose sex and drinking? Go watch the original again.

    So we have Sickboy/Simon, who's doing a decent job of blackmailing folk, but from the original yeah that sounds about right.

    Spud, is still on heroin again sounds right, I read a review saying after a run he was off it, who said? Just never seen him take it...

    Begby, prison for 20 years sounds spot on, the break out was far fetched, but has happened in lesser programs.

    The interesting thing about Renton, is that he is clean, and throughout the film never gets back on the skag...

    For me it's the perfect progression for all of the main characters, put the nostalgia in and we have the perfect sequel, not as good as the first but pretty damn close. Before people criticize me for 10 ratings I don't hand em out regularly 3 so far 2 being Trainspotting and Pulp Fiction.

    Remember guys, you're not doing what you did 20 years ago.
  • It's just hard to think that 20 years and these people can just jump back in to it!! By far one of the best sequels to any film!!!
  • Habus24 February 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    That's what this is. It really feels just like a DVD/Blu-Ray bonus material for the original Trainspotting. Now don't get me wrong, Danny Boyle and his crew did quite a good job, it was really interesting and sometimes funny to watch the fate of the four main characters from the cult classic. But that's the point - Trainspotting was basically about life and death around heroin addiction. T2 is just about those 4 guys from the first film. Like an extended version of a film. Of course they tried to fit in the "choose life" message for the current standards, but it failed to meet the merit of the original, it's just floating there without any clue to hold on. Also I can't imagine how this movie would be judged by somebody, who haven't seen the original Trainspotting. I guess it would score pretty low, because T2 builds on the contexts from its predecessor. So yeah, for the Trainspotting fans quite enjoyable, for the rest probably not. I give each star for Renton (who's running in the fog), Spud (who is trying to fix his life), Sick Boy (who's just a sick boy making out his living the sick way) and Begby (who shouts "Cunt!" most of the time) and of course one star for Danny Boyle for bringing back a huge portion of nostalgia.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Never done a film review before, but felt compelled to put something down.. As 44 year old that grew up in Glasgow and left in early my early 20s I always had an infinity with Welsh's novels. Through the nightmares of marabou stork, the spiraling world of Detective Bruce Robertson and the exploits of 'Juice' Terry. But it was with Trainspotting that it all started. And even with the early stage shows I was hooked on the dark world of welsh's grim characters. By the time I heard that the film was underway I had already moved to London and was eagerly anticipating 'the arrival' from the posters. I came out of that first showing a bit bewildered. That's not an image of 'General Franco'. Mikes Foresters a wimp (sorry Irvine!) Renton from the stage is now the 'catboy' and where is second prize and the others? But as a film, the characters, the pace the and the lines.....'He's always been lacking in moral fiber..." But' he knows a lot aboot Sean Connery' 'That's hardly a substitute!!' And the music score, from IPs intro lust for life through to pulps mile-end. It just worked, it so worked. It was not the book, couldn't be. It was something and it was genius. fast forward 10 years later I'm waiting for 3 hours in the rain outside a bookshop to get a signed copy of 'Porno'. And I loved it. So you can imagine the Anticipation I had when Boyle announced the return of Granton Star express and the first of the trailers started to appear. for 2016 I forget Bourne, Rogue in the sequel world one nothing else mattered and Stupidly I had built things up in my head to a level that that was never going to to be matched. I was actually starting to dread it following the 'premier' comments that it does not disappoint. But as I sat there and watched things unfold from early on it felt labored and disconnected. I just so want this to work. I'm trying trying to force myself to love it, we trundle into the 1690 episode and what's Scotsman doesn't love a good sectarian joke & with sick-boy on the ivories. But it starts going downhill again an by the time we reach Marks updated choose life monologue it's there because it's expected. Nothing spontaneous and it's like the words are even dubbed. Where's this going? Spuds now looking more like the author of the skag boys and Franco has now started to monologue #nocuntleavesheretillwefindwhatcuntdidit. I'm losing this next minute we're going to see Mark 'hypnotising chickens.' Amidst the final scenes we get a glimpse of a school playground and there's young kids that we start to recognise as once friends and I'm getting a bit choked up when the curly haired blonde kid appears in a freeze frame. it maybe tommy it may not. But it starting to feel like a funeral and I just want to leave the cinema now. Is it the film, the stark reality of my own life in a mirror through addiction, bad choices and lost youth? Should it never have been revisited in the first place, are some things so good you should never ever go back? 2 hours after leaving the cinema I'm now sat watching there them running out of WHSmiths down princess's as opposed to choosing mind numbing spirit crushing game shows... just made it worse. Days later and I'm still haunted by the film. What's up with me? I'm not reading this from other fans? Honestly I'm not having a go at the film, it's probably my own stupid expectations.
  • I was thoroughly impressed with this sequel. It was exciting, surprising, and took some turns that no one could have predicted. I don't know what all these negative reviewers were expecting. Did you just want to see a bunch of mid-40s junkies all getting together to do the exact same thing they did when they were in their 20s? That would have been boring as shite. There is character growth (and without spoiling anything) in some places I would have never guessed. The movie almost had me in tears at certain moments. This was not just a reboot for the sake of getting some money from a successful movie. This was an honest to the original piece of artwork that anyone with an open mind who liked Trainspotting would enjoy thoroughly. Outstanding soundtrack, wide variety of emotions expressed, and best of all (in my humble opinion) the cinematography was out of this world phenomenal. Choose Trainspotting 2.
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