T2: Trainspotting (2017) Review

First off, before I write anything… this is the worst title choice ever for this movie. There has already been a T2 25 years ago and it’s the greatest action movie ever made. Okay now that I got that out, how was Trainspotting 2? (I refuse to call it by it’s title)

The sequel to the hit 1996 film, Trainspotting continues the story 20 years after Renton (Ewan McGregor) left Edenburgh with the money he stole from his friends. Begbie (Robert Carlyle) has since been in jail, Spud (Ewen Brenner) and Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller). Renton has finally returned to Edenburgh and the gang is finally back together, well relatively. I don’t want to go much more into the plot because I went into this movie really knowing nothing other then the entire cast was returning and it took place 20 years after the events of the first film. I think that’s the best way to view this as the film has a few surprise appearances and nostalgic treats sprinkled throughout the film. That’s the driving force behind this movie. The most is a fun nostalgic trip down memory lane for anyone who liked the first Trainspotting and I think anyone who did enjoy that movie like myself will really enjoy this one.

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Danny Boyle returns to direct this film and rightfully so. The film features every unique Boyle-esque camera angle and the film is shot beautifully. The camera feels frantic along with the editing but anyone who has ever seen a Danny Boyle film knows this comes with the territory. Boyle does something really unique in the opening moments of the movie where he puts subtitles on the screen when the characters say certain things and it was a huge help for a silly American like me. Anytime I watch a film that takes place in Britain or Ireland etc. I always have a 5-10 minute adjustment period with the way the characters talk and with this movie, I adjusted right away thanks to these uniquely placed subtitles. Something that was really fun and added to the film was of course the soundtrack. Queen, David Bowie, the Clash are just some of the bands featured in some of the film and it just brings a frantic and upbeat nature to a subject matter that could otherwise be dour and bleak. That’s the thing that I like most about this film, the humor. It is so well timed and dark. It Right from the opening scene, I knew this was gonna be a really funny movie and it didn’t disappoint me. There was a few really emotional movies throughout that definitely made me feel for these characters as of course I really enjoy them as I’ve spent two movies with them.

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My flaws with the movie have to do with it’s plot structure. This film while it does further the story from the first film, it feels at times like a remake as it feels a lot of sequels do nowadays and while I don’t have much issue with this, it is still the biggest flaw. While that is a flaw, I always think the structure of the film being so reminiscent to the original matches the themes of drug addiction that the film tackles in that addicts being sucked back into the same world of the past means they repeat their old mistakes. So this may be a flaw but it’s also a strength.

While this film does pale in comparison to the original but I didn’t expect this film to be better then the original. It is a well made sequel and I think any fans of the original will have a great time returning to see these characters because I know I did.

 

Grade: B+


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