T2 Trainspotting (2017)
After 20 years abroad, Mark Renton returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie.
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After "Trainspotting" left us stunned on how gripping the world of heroin addiction is, comes the next best thing: a sequel. Starring the same bunch of misfits in the capable hands of revered director Danny Boyle, "T2 Trainspotting" is a sequel that you won't want to miss!"T2 Trainspotting" takes place 20 years after the events that lead up to the original film in 1996. The boys have grown up now, but still find themselves more or less doing what they did back then. You have to love how Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller did not seem to have aged, but I think the biggest surprise was Robert Carlyle's character, Begbie, who once again showed beyond doubt to be the powerhouse of the group.I found myself going back to rewind several scenes from the movie. One of the scenes involved Begbie chasing Rent Boy who was hanging by the roof of a car while "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood was playing heavily in the background. That's when I saw Boyle's touch of class and I knew in that moment I was watching a master at work. The camerawork with the car's side mirror and the frenetic close-ups were just on par in that scene.The editing was great as in all of Danny Boyle's films, especially the scenes were they guys were tripping on drugs, a very good use of lenses and projectors."T2 Trainspotting" is a sequel that had to be made and it turned out fantastic. I urge everyone go to check out the first movie if you haven't and then come back and see its sequel.
T2 is one of those movies that, when it ends you feel like a woman who has just had sex: "that's it?" Competently filmed and acted, but not overall a great movie because of the script. I love the original, I've seen it a dozen times at least. This film relies on the viewer's nostalgia for the first without coming up with anything original, and despite my love for the original it failed to get me into it. The plot manages to feel meandering without much even happening, probably because it's paced terribly. Renton comes back to Scotland after 20 years, checks in on the characters, then tries to make money before escaping being murdered by Begbie. That's it, everything, the entire plot in one sentence! I couldn't sum up Trainspotting so quickly. This movie also has no real message or moral, aside from one line of dialogue which tries to shove feminism down your throat. Trainspotting had a very nuanced albeit cynical critique of society, not this one. I've never seen just a masturbatory piece of film before. Danny Boyle made the original Trainspotting, and he won't let you ever forget it.
Having just finished T2 I can pronounce it a worthy successor. I first read the book (which I thought fairly dark) as a young man in the 90s then saw the movie and thought it relatively lighthearted and funny. T2 is in the same vein and hits all its marks just as Mark says. The updated "Choose Life" monologue is excoriatingly on-point. The film is worthy in its story, its visuals, but particularly in its perspective. It allows the viewer to reflect on early choices made in the heat of the moment, and on the importance of "character". All the characters grow up a little bit, but not as much as you'd hope. Spud is still a loser but he is the childlike heart of the story to Renton's intelligent yet impulsive grownup. Diane is also worthy of mention, remaining an aloof and cool super-ego, the person Renton wishes he could be. In the Netflix age this could easily have been spun out to a dozen hours (which would have eclipsed the original movie) but does well to tell its story in the alloted time.Finally: read the books.
The original film had such a great pace, but the plot was really simple. It was based on Mark's hopelessness and trying to control his addiction. It was dark and wonderful. From the very beginning it draws you in with the toilet scene.This has none of that. The plot is complicated with 5 characters having their own stories that only merge by force. I watched the movie, and still don't know why Mark went back to Edinborough. And if he did, why did he look up his old mates. He doesn't seem to have any strong affinity for them. It's believable that Begbie would be in jail, but it's not believable that somebody would tip the police off to his whereabouts. The first one he was an annoying psychopath who was their friend. Now he is a dangerous man.The biggest problem is the pacing and convoluted plot. The first film had a basic plot, and the characters interacted with Mark. I watch it and lose track of time. This has multiple plot devices, but I looked at my watch halfway through and wanted it to move on I wasn't vested in the plot. The angles and film devices seemed forced, so it did't work.As a sequel to the original, it was fine, but it fails as an original story.