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Review: T2 Trainspotting

Jonny Lee Miller and Ewan McGregor star in Tristar Pictures' T2: TRAINSPOTTING

Danny Boyle has never appeared too keen to make any kind of sequel. And based on what he told me a few years back, his reasoning made perfect sense from the standpoint of artistic motivation. However, I always believed that if he was going to ever going to eventually make sequels, the first one would be a follow-up to Trainspotting. Although it isn’t his most financially successful hit, it’s the movie that everyone seems to ask him about whenever this sort of topic ever comes up.

In T2 Trainspotting, we get more than something that builds on what was previously created all those years earlier in the original. Unlike his other movies, this one isn’t necessarily about someone overcoming insurmountable odds. It’s about a group of friends who are crossing paths once again after about twenty years and seeing just how much as changed while somehow remaining the same in so many ways.

You’ll find that T2 Trainspotting is basically following these popular characters as we catch up with them and are reintroduced to their lives. This alone will work for several people simply because it allows fans to reattach themselves to these guys and the world that they belong to. In an attempt to not make the usual sequel and not solely rely on the characters and the past movie, T2 focuses on things like the past in a way that’s both bittersweet and potentially satisfying.

Throughout, the guys in this reflect as they each also attempt to create futures suitable to their desires. This of course, differentiates between each man as they move through a world that may not have a place for people like them. Of course, these hopes, dreams and conditions aren’t exactly ideal. As we are reintroduced to them, we’re introduced to a somber world with a gloomy forecast. With the kind of problems that these four have had in the past, it’s no shock that they’re not facing a journey with an abundance of easy roads ahead.

Once they start their journeys, anything resembling a conventional story is missing. This could definitely bother some viewers, but those who wish to catch up with Rent Boy (Ewan McGregor), Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle) probably won’t mind all that much. Instead of following a specific path on this journey, we’re asked to watch the group juggle several things over the course of this period in time. This makes for a story that’s constantly shifting and changing while the protagonists mostly stay the same.

In spite of this not being something that kills T2, the story structure does damage it at least to some degree. In reality, this mostly occurs largely due to the film’s length. With all that’s included, there are instances where what you’re watching feels overextended. This creates issues for the story as a viewers as you may have a difficult time sitting straight through it more than once or twice even if you like what’s taking place. Then again, if you’re just into the characters, you may not mind this at all.

One of the better parts of T2 Trainspotting is the camera work and the style that’s seen during some of the shots. The approach seen here gives this the fresh and stylish tone that it’s aiming for. This helps in making the movie more of an event that fans of the original will likely find satisfying. In some instances, it feels as if the small things they do here are a vital part of what’s taking place from a viewing perspective since it adds more flavor to what is going on whenever it’s utilized.

While Danny Boyle’s first ever sequel isn’t perfect, it provides more than enough of that dark comedic content that will delight audiences. Based on the characters and the camera work, I’d say that it mainly succeeds in an instance where failure would be consistent in the hands of many other directors out there. Will everyone go home completely happy? I doubt it. I do however believe that very few will leave the theater feeling disappointed with what they get out of T2 Trainspotting.

Rating: R

Director: Danny Boyle

Ewan McGregor
Ewen Bremner
Jonny Lee Miller
Robert Carlyle

Film Length: 118 minutes

Release Date: March 24, 2017

Distributor: Tristar Pictures

  • Score - 7/10
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