T2 Trainspotting (Trainspotting 2)
Starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Anjela Nedyalkova
Trainspotting was one of those films that hit just before cinema took over my world. It was such an iconic film for the 90’s, most people interested in cinema, or just curious saw it. I did, wasn’t impressed, and it took a few movies to embrace Danny Boyle’s particular style of filmmaking. It certainly put the future Oscar winning director on the map whether you were fan of the druggie, slag, film or not. Boyle has come a long way, so has his frequent collaborator Ewan McGregor. Trainspotting isn’t a film that needed a sequel, and its very existence is really nothing more than nostalgia. T2 is very simple compared to what Boyle does now. It’s of course more of the same plot devices only 20 years later, I’m still not impressed.
The years have not been kind to the Edinburgh crew, especially since Mark (McGregor) ran off with their $16k from the last heist they did together. The needle sharing dope heads haven’t done much with their lives. Mark returns two decades later from Amsterdam to atone for his betrayal. Finding Spud (Bremner) still a junkie, Simon (Miller) running his father’s pub, full of resentment, while the psychotic Begbie (Carlyle) is in prison. After knocking Mark around a bit, Simon comes up with a plan that brings the crew back into the same nonsense from twenty years ago, only this time, Begbie breaks out of prison to get his revenge.
A step backwards for visonary director Danny Boyle.
Boyle uses a hefty amount of footage from the original, in a way that’s more than just a typical flashback. Images overlain on new footage, homage shots edited to look like visons of yesteryear. There was more creativity going on in the editing room that during filming. “A tourist in your own youth,” they say. T2 is Boyle’s gift to the fans of the original that helped make this tiny little euro indie a cult classic. For those not so taken by the original, or those coming into this world for the first time, this sequel isn’t very welcoming or creative from a director they might now know as an auteur.
Guy Richie somehow managed to make almost the exact same style of movie as Trainspotting with Snatch and a few others, but the Richie versions were always more entertaining and engrossing. Bremner even worked with Richie on Snatch (2000). It’s really hard to appreciate anything about this sequel when you don’t care about the subject matter, the characters, or what Boyle is trying to recreate. It feels like a waste of time for a visionary director that brings so many layers to his more recent accomplishments like Steve Jobs or the powerful 127 Hours.
Likely a blast for fans of the original, possibly torture for those who are not.