Just like its predecessor, “T2 Trainspotting” opens with Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) running, this time on a treadmill. It’s intercut with the final shot from the first #Film as he makes off with the loot. Already, director Danny Boyle is setting the tone for his sequel. He’s telling us that Renton is still running from his past. And then he falls off the treadmill and we’re back into the unique absurdist “Trainspotting” comic style.
Choose satirical cultural references
Renton heads back to Edinburgh, and he’s confused by the nice stewardesses outside the airport welcoming him. All of a sudden the city doesn’t seem as hostile as he remembers. Time has passed and things have changed. This opens the door to the cultural satire the original film was rife with. Now, it’s been updated for the twenty-first century, so we get the “Trainspotting” view of the world a second time around. The world is always changing and in twenty more years, there’ll be different things to say again. “T2” targets gentrification and social media, which were nowhere to be seen in the 1990s whose zeitgeist the original captured so well.
The original “Trainspotting” cast are all back. McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, and Robert Carlyle all slip comfortably back into their roles, Carlyle in particular as he goes all-out crazy in the role of Begbie. In the original, Begbie is just a crazy supporting character with the antagonist being heroin, but here he takes on the full-on antagonist role (and Carlyle thrives in it, to say the least), since they’re all more or less off heroin now. Spud takes centre stage this time around, as he takes on the Irvine Welsh role and writes up the plot of the original as a novel; Bremner even takes over McGregor’s narration towards the end.
Choose nostalgia, choose call-backs
“T2 Trainspotting” is certainly a nostalgic sequel. When Renton tells Spud, “You’re an addict, so be addicted, just be addicted to something else,” it seems he didn’t choose life, he chose member berries. Hence all the nostalgic flashbacks and reusing scenes from the original and Mark laughing through a car windscreen during a chase and Kelly Macdonald’s pointless return. She’s shoehorned into one scene that could’ve remained pretty much unchanged no matter who the character was. She’s just there so they could get her face in the trailer. It’s pretty shameless. It’s one of the few hiccups in John Hodge’s screenplay.
One plus note is that the trailer didn’t give much away, which can be a big problem these days, and you leave the #Cinema satisfied by the ending. Without giving too much away, justice is adequately served. While “T2 Trainspotting” may not be very memorable once it’s over the way the first one undoubtedly was, but it’s certainly a lot of fun while you’re watching it, and that counts for a lot. The sequel adds pathos to the original: they weren’t just stupid twentysomethings who couldn’t get their lives together back then, because now they’re fortysomethings and they still can’t get it together, and the film’s message is that that’s okay.
Choose the best bits
The moment in “T2 Trainspotting” when Begbie coincidentally finds himself in a toilet stall next to Renton in a nightclub may just be one of the funniest film moments of all time. We’ll just have to wait and see what the BuzzFeed lists have to say in ten years’ time. There isn’t really a main plot to the film. The first “Trainspotting” was more of a feeling or an experience than a story, but on the whole it was the story of Renton trying to go clean and have a normal life, but his friends won’t allow it. But in “T2,” it’s more just a bunch of loosely connected vignettes, but that never becomes a problem when you’re watching the film.
Choose Ewan McGregor’s earnest performance. Choose sharp, witty dialogue. Choose Ewen Bremner’s tragic turn. Choose Danny Boyle’s energetic direction. Choose a feature-length epilogue to a timeless classic. Choose life. Choose “T2 Trainspotting.” #Celebrities