First there was an opportunity......then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him: Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance. Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
When Renton meets Simon in his pub he is playing pool on his own. In the first shot there are only red balls and a black ball . In the next shot a yellow ball appears on the table. See more »
[In the Highlands with Mark and Spud to remember Tommy]
I'm sorry, I'm trying very hard, but I just don't feel anything.
We are here as an act of memorial.
It's just nostalgia! You're a tourist in your own youth. We were young; bad things happened.
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"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.
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