“T2 Trainspotting” Review ✦✦✦✧✧

27 January, 2017

Director: Danny Boyle
Screenwriter: John Hodge
Director of Photography: Anthony Dod Mantle
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewan Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller

Synopsis: Set twenty years after the events of the first movie, T2 Trainspotting sees Renton returning to Scotland where he seeks out his old pals Spud and Sick Boy but must also face up to the wrath of Begbie.

T2 Trainspotting Review:

A rare chance to get up to speed with the antics of Renton, Spud, Sick Boy, and Begbie, “T2 Trainspotting” is an unusual event for film fans and it’s one that can only remind us of the escapist wonders that came with the 1996 original. Picking up a whopping twenty years after a drug-free Renton swiped a bag of cash and waved goodbye to his former self, the film sees karma catching up with the bright-eyed hero as he reunites with old friends while carrying a ton of excess baggage.

Arriving mere moments before Begbie’s jailbreak and Spud’s suicide, Renton attempts to build bridges with Sick Boy who now works as a pimp blackmailing clients while snorting more cocaine than Scarface, but it’s not an easy task, especially when his arrival comes unannounced. For many, the reunion of the original cast has always sounded a little too good to be true and the film plays out in a more serious, middle-aged manner than its predecessor, reminding us that the greying foursome have become wholly removed from the world we once knew.

Like an unexpected moment of recognition shared between forgotten friends, “T2 Trainspotting” reluctantly embraces its past self, failing to absorb the shock as we are reintroduced to the star players. Danny Boyle allows Time to taint the purity of his content, transforming the once youthful lowlives into ageing losers with broken homes and a new string of bad habits. The outcome is administered in a much lower dose than most viewers will expect as the film tries rather awkwardly to match the beats of Irvine Welsh’s 2002 follow-up novel while translating it to a modern setting.

Snapchat filters and social media worm their way into the story but they never truly belong and are used merely to suggest that the content is still relevant in a way that it no longer is. Renton and co. find themselves always looking back on the old days, conveniently bumping into nostalgic reminders of their old life instead of focusing on the road ahead and Boyle butchers the glorious “choose life” speech by updating it to include all manner of contemporary horrors.

Boyle’s prominence as a director has undoubtedly led him away from his more grassroots approach to filmmaking and the experimentation seen in his younger years feels like a distant memory in a film that can barely muster up the energy to play an Iggy Pop record. While the movie’s soundtrack thankfully retains the iconic rhythms of Cardiff electro band Underworld and reaches even greater heights with the momentary inclusion of Wolf Alice’s beautiful alternative rock track “Silk,” the aesthetic is noticeably lacking in scenes that come together like a talky television melodrama.

The sounds and emotions that come with the original film’s peculiar take on the Edinburgh drug scene are still there, always present in the background of this latest black comedy as the novelty refuses to wear off. But “T2 Trainspotting” is the methadone substitute that follows its predecessor’s heavy kick of heroin and its fondness for the past feels like that of an addict pondering over the rush of their younger years. Made for the fans and no one else, “T2” is compulsory viewing for the true devotees but its mature and less fun approach towards storytelling is an undeniable disappointment for those looking to rediscover the magic of the first movie.


Review Date
T2 Trainspotting