I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
No need to complain about me being late with this review since these guys were 20 years late with this film!
T2 is Trainspotting 2. Rent Boy, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie are back two decades after we last saw their mangled lives.
I’m among the youngest people to review this film at 20 years old myself. I grew up in a post Trainspotting world. The first film, it is the best Scottish work of art of its generation.
My love of the original film is not soley thanks to its roots in my country. I genuinely adore its masterful writing, direction, editing and acting. No other film of its kind offers its kind of adrenalin and other drugs to the base of the spine.
So Danny Boyle had a tough job following that up didn’t he?
The thing is, Trainspotting, despite its classic status, is worth giving a sequel. It’s a story about young men choosing life. But what about when they are no longer young? When things that seemed important before don’t anymore and vice versa, what does the man do? How do the boys juggle their longing for youth with the truth of their age?
Twenty years has done nothing to the ferocious energy of Danny Boyle. Since T1, he has firmly established himself as one of the finest film talents in the UK with 127 Hours being among the most under-appreciated films of the century thus far.
Here he lets loose with great touches of flare and poignancy in a balance which I find actually kind of astounding. Since Trainspotting, visual communication in mainstream films has diversified enormously and T2 takes advantage of all methods it can.
Another act of brilliance is John Hodge’s script. Taking elements from the original film, its source novel, the novel’s sequel Porno and his own imagination, this screenplay dances with these characters. It takes just enough from each while letting it be its own thing.
For example, like the first film, we get a “Choose Life” monologue from Renton, but because he’s an older man, his narcissism has waned a little and we don’t hear much voice-over from him, only in moments where he is recapturing some element of his youth. In the sequel, “Choose Life” is a desperate plea that instead of making you smile had me tearing up.
The original cast has come back. They show their age as they are occasionally intercut with their younger selves, but in the best possible way. They are no longer young and stupid. They are older and embarrassingly stupid. They are still the bad, but beautiful souls we all know from our own lives.
Trainspotting is about time. Time wasted, time reflected upon, time enjoyed, time in pain. A sequel showing a different part of its infinite span makes total sense.
This is one of the great sequels. While it will never be seen as better than its predecessor, like Godfather Part Two, it is genuinely hard to believe that its constructive extensions of the original were not planned long before by some omniscience.
I’m certain there will be a Trainspotting 3. We need a little time to catch our breath from this one.
Recommended Scenario: If you want a film that Chooses Life.