Choose life, choose Trainspotting, choose fantastic performances across a talented cast. Choose dark humour and brilliant cinematography. Choose triumphs, choose family, choose revenge as a twisted and bright plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Renton (Ewan McGregor), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), Spud (Ewen Bremner) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle) return as the anti-heroes of Edinburgh, no longer the angry addicts we fondly remember from the original 1996 movie, but as middle-aged geezers with nothing left to lose.
T2 kicks off twenty years after the events of the first film, exploring how each of the characters have grown and changed over the passage of time. Renton is a reformed man, clean of the smack, back to reconcile with his old buddies – but are they as happy to see him as he is? Understandably not.
While the original film focused on themes like drug addiction, youth subculture and the exploration of urban poverty, the sequel sets its own path taking a more nostalgic approach – a natural fit to the protagonists who are now all in their early forties. We see them look back on the good ol’ days and conclude that they weren’t so good after all; a refreshing twist for a self-aware epilogue.
The entirety of the cast returns in some form or another, including a hilarious cameo from Kelly Macdonald as Diane. The inclusion of new characters that relate to Begbie’s past help to give him a more complex back story, making him an overall more relatable character.
“Choose triumphs, choose family, choose revenge.”
It’s easy to say ‘Not another cash-grabbing sequel!’ after the hundreds that roll out of Hollywood each year, but this movie feels very genuine in that respect. It charms you, it respects the material of its predecessor and for fans of the original film, you couldn’t have asked for anything better.
Though in places the film gets a touch too sappy and sentimental, T2 is an overall triumph and is definitely as memorable as the edgy 90s flick that stands as a cornerstone of British cinema. Choose Trainspotting.
Words by Tilda S. Howard