This sequel to the seminal '90s indie smash Trainspotting catches up with its quartet of Scottish junkies 20 years later. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) finally returns to Edinburgh after a long exile in Amsterdam, and he soon reunites with his old pals Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and Spud (Ewen Bremner). As he tries to help Spud kick his heroin addiction and gets caught up in a scheme to open a brothel with Sick Boy, Renton is targeted by the sociopathic Begbie (Robert Carlyle), who wants revenge for his past misdeeds. Danny Boyle directed this follow-up, which is partly based on author Irvine Welsh's 2002 novel, Porno.~Jack Rodgers
20 Years in the Making: A Conversation with Danny Boyle and the Cast
Commentary with Director Danny Boyle and Writer John Hodge
On its own merits, this is a fun flick, held up to the original it's a mild let-down. Blu-Ray is solid, the UHD is a little overmixed with the sound, the loud parts are a little too loud, the quiet parts are a little too quiet; the HDR is a tad too aggressive, but being a Danny Boyle movie it still looks amazing.
20 years after Trainspotting took the cinema world by storm and introduced us to skinny jeans and nouveau heroin chic, T2 takes us back to Scotland to visit with the characters 2 decades later, featuring the original director, writer, and cast.
This is not a typical sequel, it doesn't rehash the previous film nor does it strive to replicate the high energy experience of the original - it's a true sequel that takes into regard that 20 years have actually passed and much has changed. While the characters are familiar, we join them on a new story arc and examine their lives as some remain mired in the consequences of the past.
In a way this film stands on its own, as it doesn't necessarily lean on the original and strives to provide something original.
But it's not just a 20 year journey with these characters, its important to note that the film is also an expression of Danny Boyle's journey as a filmmaker. Trainspotting was his breakthrough and in the next 20 years he's had an entire career unfold, and T2 does not ignore that. It doesn't pretend that Boyle is still a young artist in the 90's; T2 is clearly the work of a veteran who has created pieces within many different genres and now brings his original vision back, full circle. In this respect, T2 is quite remarkable. It's not a cash-grab sequel, it's not a comforting re-visit, it's an actual new chapter in the lives of the characters.
But while T2 differs from Trainspotting in this regards, it will not disappoint fans as there are several moments/scenes that genuinely rank up there with the best parts of the first one - what we could call "classic Danny Boyle moments".
It was sad to see this film come and go in the US with little to no fanfare. Seems like audiences were "meh".... despite the gonzo popularity of the original movie. This is a very underrated sequel and worthy entry in Boyle's filmography. Fans will not be disappointed, just don't expect a nostalgic trip back to the mid-90's. Cinema buffs won't be disappointed either as Danny Boyle gives us a well-acted and finely stylized tale of reckless youth now ageing itself right out of life.
I am a huge fan of the original Trainspotting. I saw it when I was in college and was completely mesmerized to the point that I bought the book. I continued reading all of Irvine Welsh's books, and it was always amusing when these characters would pop up in different stories. I was stunned when, after 20 years, I read that the gang was getting back together for a sequel, so I wondered if the movie would follow some of the character paths that were set out in the books. It was nice to see that some of the elements of "P0rno" were retained. Ultimately, though, it was kind of a touching experience to see how these characters have aged and how they've grown (or not grown, as it may be for some of them,) into middle age, as I am roughly the same age as these characters. In a way, it felt a little like the maturing process that I found in Clerks and Clerks II. I think if you liked the first Trainspotting, you will enjoy this one as well, although it is a different experience from that film. This is just a great, natural progression of characters, and really, life.
Dont let my summary put you off though. Its still a good film and well worth watching if you loved the first one. Its a great follow up and good to see how the lives of these guys had changed or not changed over the last 20 years. Gritty, humorous, and a sense of closeness is what you get from this. I wouldnt recommend if you have not watched the first TS as you will be totally lost as the character development is all in that first movie. But as a lover of the first i loved the second just not quite as much