T2 Trainspotting (2017)
Directed by Danny Boyle
Based on Trainspotting and Porno by Irvine Welsh
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald, Anjela Nedyalkova, Shirley Henderson, Irvine Welsh
Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
20 years after the previous film, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Scotland to make amends with his friends, Daniel “Spud” Murphy (Ewen Bremner) and Simon “Sick Boy” Williamson (Jonny Lee Miller), whilst avoiding the psychopathic Francis “Franco” Begbie (Robert Carlyle).
I enjoyed this sequel more than I thought I would and it was better than I expected. It’s interesting that just last week I reviewed The Hustler (1961) and its sequel The Color Of Money (1986). It doesn’t always work to revisit characters with films that are 20+ years apart. However, in the case of both The Color Of Money & T2, I did thoroughly enjoy seeing what our much older characters are now up to and I don’t think either film ruined its (admittedly superior) predecessor.
Let’s face it – the Trainspotting sequel was never going to be better than the original. Trainspotting was so of its time and it captured a mood, time & place in a way I don’t think could ever be replicated now. All I wanted was a sequel that wasn’t embarrassing & didn’t ruin the characters as we remember them and I think Danny Boyle has managed to deliver this to Trainspotting fans. I’ve actually been extremely disappointed with some of his films I’ve watched lately (Trance, Slumdog Millionaire) so am very happy to say that this sequel met & even exceeded my expectations. I still like these characters. (Other than Begbie, of course… What an asshole!)
I really like the first film and think it deserves its acclaim for being something quite unique. When I first saw it years ago, it was when I was first starting to really get into films and it was unlike anything I’d ever seen before (and probably one of the most shocking I’d seen at that point in my life). I was also still in America at that point so I suppose it was very foreign to me as well. I’ve only watched it once more since (just after moving to the UK over a decade ago) so, while I think it’s a very good film, I’m not one of its obsessive fans and had even forgotten bits & pieces of it. More than anything, it was the soundtrack from the original that stuck with me (Excellent soundtrack!). I probably could’ve done with re-watching the first before the sequel but, with the help of some flashbacks which I thought were well done, it filled in a few blanks in my mind.
My point is this: I’m no expert or obsessive Trainspotting fan and I’ve never read the books so I don’t feel very qualified in reviewing this sequel. I know I personally enjoyed it and it was great revisiting the characters and seeing them together again (especially Renton & Spud. I’d forgotten how likable Spud was – he’s easily my favorite character in the sequel). This is a more grown-up film and certainly not as intense as the original but it feels “right“. These guys are 20 years older – they’re not going to be exactly the same. However, they still stay true to their characters and, though older and supposedly wiser, still make bad decisions and mistakes.
Immediately after watching this, I was mostly curious what fellow blogger Mark of Marked Movies thought of it as I know he’s a big fan of the original (and he’s from Scotland, I should add). He kindly reviewed the original a couple of years ago for my IMDB Top 250 Project HERE (Thanks again, Mark!). I figure that his opinion on this sequel is far more relevant than mine so, if you’d also like the opinion of a big Trainspotting fan, you can read his review of the sequel HERE. It looks like we both feel quite similar about the sequel so Boyle seems to have done a good job keeping loyal fans (as well as casual fans such as myself) happy. Oh yeah – The soundtrack is also okay but it’s not as awesome as the first film’s!
My Rating: 7/10
I’m so glad this is worth a watch! I haven’t seen the original for years, it was before I was a proper movie fan and I had to watch it as part of my media course. I definitely need to rewatch it before I see the sequel. Great review!
Thanks! Yep – I definitely recommend re-watching the original first, then, if you do check this one out. Not totally necessary if you remember it well enough but I think it would’ve been worth it to refresh my own memory a bit. This sequel does justice to the characters, which is all we can really ask of a sequel. Worth a watch for sure. : )
Very happy to hear you enjoyed this as well Disco! I was worried that they’d make a complete arse of it but they didn’t. This was hugely enjoyable and great to spend time with these guys – Begbie included. To be honest, he’s always been my favourite character of them all.
Nope – they didn’t make an arse of it. : ) Aw, but Begbie is such an asshole! lol. But I guess that means he plays him very well. Since I hate him… 😉 Now I kind of want to see them all again in their 60s!
Haha! I’d love to see more as well. Robert Carlyle was recently talking about being interested in playing Begbie again in an adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s The Blade Artist. I haven’t read the book yet but I would still love to see it happen.
I was wondering if you’d mention the soundtrack. That sure would’ve been tricky to top.
Very! This one definitely doesn’t top it. But not many soundtracks do. : )
After reading your review I am now very curious to see this film (though initially I was very opposed to it). And, I do so agree with alexraphael, who on earth can ever top that epic soundtrack from original Trainspotting?
Well, I’m way behind on replying to comments… Have you seen T2 yet? No – you definitely can’t top the original soundtrack. : )
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