T2 Trainspotting – A Preview

When news broke that, after twenty years, Danny Boyle would be making a sequel to Trainspotting, the abiding feeling was more trepidation than anticipation, such is the regard for the original film. Much to everyone’s relief, the director has delivered.

Boyle has gathered the original cast for this stark examination of the consequences of a misspent youth, and each one is at the top of their game. John Hodge’s deft screenplay has Renton’s return coincide with Begie’s escape from prison, and Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle slip comfortably back into their respective roles. Johnny Lee Millar and Ewen Bremner are allowed the scope to develop Sick Boy and Spud, but none of these tired old men have done very well for themselves. Notwithstanding the pleasingly labyrinthine plot (with its respectful nod to the source novel) this sanguine, elegiac movie is fundamentally about the ennui and disenchantment of middle age.

T2 is less about “what did they do next?” than the consequences of squandering of opportunity, not least the time between the two movies. Lest me forget, not only are the characters twenty years older, but so are the actors, and so is the audience.

By David Vass

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