Choose Life: A T2:Trainspotting review

Directed by: Danny Boyle.

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewan Bremner, Johnny Lee Millar, Robert Carlyle, Kelly McDonald, Anjela Nedyalkova, James Cosmo, Irvine Welsh.

It has been 20 years, 20 years! Just let that sink in. Two whole decades since we were delivered of Danny Boyles original cultural phenomenon. Now, the original cast return to our screens in the long touted sequel to one of the greatest British films of the 90’s, arguably ever. Worthy continuation or shameless cash in?

We join the characters of the original Trainspotting some 20 years after its conclusion. Mark Renton has returned Scotland two decades after cheating his friends out of £16,000. Sick Boy is a con-man with aspirations of running his own brothel, Spud still struggles with his addiction and Francis Begbie, consumed with his desire for revenge against Renton, is detained in prison, or is he?

Let’s cut the shiz, T2 isn’t a bad film, it succeeds in being more than just a cynical cash-in as so many would have predicted, it delivers its prerequisite amount of fan service while delivering a tale that is worthy of sitting alongside its predecessor. I did enjoy it, it was great to see these characters on screen once more and see where their lives have taken them, their crushing realisation that age and the weight of your own mistakes eventually catches up with you. However the film can at times become a mixture of moments that raise a grin and ones that fall flat on their face. For the most part, it is a success, albeit arguably a needless one, there are still going to be many of the old guard that will attest that this film is a decade too late and not required at all, I would argue the opposite, this story could only be told now with the passage of all these years, the growing resentment and the need for closure.

The performances from the main 4 are excellent, particularly with the welcome focus on Ewan Bremner’s Spud, a tremendously likeable and sympathetic turn for a character who has spent the last 20 years succumbing to his demons and here finding an outlet to battle them, it really was a wonderful move to give him more emphasis. Some nice mini cameos from Kelly McDonald, James Cosmo & Irvine Welsh tying back to the original film.

My advice for viewing T2, don’t expect too much from it. If you are going in expecting nostalgic nods and pleasing fan service, you’ll come away happy. It may stumble along the way, it may not be the flawless swan song we hoped for but if you go in with that information in mind, you will enjoy the experience.

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