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Dan's Review: "T2 Trainspotting" goes back to its roots

Apr 01, 2017 10:17AM ● Published by Dan Metcalf

Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller, and Ewen Bremner in T2 Trainspotting - © 2017 Sony/Tristar

T2 Trainspotting (Sony/Tristar)

Rated R for drug use, language throughout, strong sexual content, graphic nudity and some violence.

Starring Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Kevin McKidd, Kyle Fitzpatrick, Elek Kish, Bradley Welsh, Kelly Macdonald, Anjela Nedyalkova, Pauline Lynch, James Cosmo, Eileen Nicholas, Shirley Henderson, Irvine Welsh, Simon Weir, Steven Robertson, Scot Greenan.

Written by John Hodge, based on “Trainspotting and Porno” by Irvine Welsh.

Directed by Danny Boyle.

GRADE: A-

REVIEW:

You can’t go home, they say. Things change, people grow up, relationships evolve, and the scenery advances or deteriorates into a form that may or may not reconcile with the schematics of your memory. That’s the test of T2 Trainspotting, the sequel to Danny Boyle’s breakthrough 1996 film about Scottish heroin addicts trying to survive the streets of Edinburgh.

Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Johnny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle reprise their roles as Renton, Spud, Simon “Sick Boy” and Begbie. The story begins as Renton returns to Scotland from Amsterdam, where he found refuge after swindling his pals from $16,000 pounds they got from a heroin deal. He discovers Spud is about to commit suicide after failing as a father and husband, returning to drug addiction. Simon is using his Bulgarian girlfriend Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova) to extort wealthy men through video taping sexual encounters as blackmail. At the same time, Begbie escapes from prison and returns to his wife and son, hoping to get back into burgling homes. Meanwhile, Renton and Simon scheme to get a government grant to transform an old bar into a brothel. As the gents deal with past betrayal and new challenges of middle age, their addictions resurface and they are again faced with choices that will lead to more bad consequences, or a better future.

T2 Trainspotting is a worthy sequel to the 1996 original, staying true to the characters, despicable as they are. There is some closure and a little more betrayal, but also a lot of character development, without any pretense of happy endings or “Hollywood” outcomes.

There’s also a little philosophical messaging hidden underneath all of the sex, drugs and rock & roll carefully woven by Danny Boyle’s visionary pacing and Anthony Dod Mantle’s incredible cinematography. As we experience the main characters’ slow-burn development and soul searching, we get a glimpse of hope for these addicts, even though it’s obvious that that may be beyond redemption.

It’s true that you may not always be able to go back home, but T2 Trainspotting makes it a worthy place to visit. 


T2 Trainspotting Trailer

Arts+Entertainment movies movie reviews Substance Abuse
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