“T2 Trainspotting” (2017)
Directed by Danny Boyle
Running Time 117 Minutes, Rated R.
3.5 Mitch’s out of 5
This is a highly rewarding experience for those who are familiar with and those who fancy the original Trainspotting. 20 years after Danny Boyle’s groundbreaking original the gang is back together, and it is such sweet sorrow.
Boyle, whose unique electric perspective is on fire here in this sequel, dazzling this viewer and quenching my thirst for one of my very most transformative films as a burgeoning cinephile. Peppered in are cues from the original that will make you smile. Ewan McGregor as the ever charming Scottish ex-heroin addict gives us an update on his famous “Choose Life” monologue that had me thinking mid scene of how great it would be to platonically grow old with the actor, and then I realized I have.
“Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, wishing you’d done it all differently. And choose watching history repeat itself.” McGregor absolutely nails this showcasing how father time is still undefeated, and if we live long enough, then we will eventually be awakened to that fact.
We last left the Trainspotting crew 20 years ago with Renton betraying his friends by skipping Edinburgh with everyone’s robbed share of 16,000 pounds of drug money only leaving Spud (Ewen Bremner) with his share. Now after all these years Renton, who has changed his addiction to running, comes back home with a hope to right his sins. Nowadays, the caption necessary Spud is still on the dark needle and is found by Renton with an unpleasant plastic bag around his head. Renton’s former bestie Simon (Johnny Miller), aka Sick Boy, has moved on to cocaine with hopes of starting a classy brothel with his very young but very bright ‘girlfriend’ Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova). As for Begbie (Robert Carlyle), he’s still a hurricane of destruction wherever he goes whose psychopathic tendencies won’t let prison get in the way of getting revenge on Renton.
There are winks to original; a bathroom toilet or Renton’s get away antics that will hit that warm nostalgia center of your soul as well as new shenanigans to delight in such as Renton and Simon’s impromptu musical stylings that cater to the dislike of Catholics all to prosper in some clever credit card fraud.
The end feels a little too focused on Begbie’s revenge, but throughout screenwriter John Hodge gets that history does have a way of repeating itself, and while we are in love with these lovable losers at the end of the day they are still losers. But that’s what makes this film and the one before it a winner.