I was very worried about T2 Trainspotting. I was worried the hype culture that had been injected into it would have been able to spoil what has become a staple for how impressive the British film industry could be. Winding the clocks back 20 years ago, after the original 1996 Trainspotting had come out, many film critics praised the Danny Boyle masterpiece as a British Pulp Fiction and knocking on Hollywood’s door to say “look how clever we are”.
T2 Trainspotting now must give Hollywood that same level wow factor with the previous level of popularity as a boost. However, the cast and director Danny Boyle have said is previous interviews that they want T2 Trainspotting to stand alone from its predecessor, and so I judged it as such.
What Danny Boyle has created, is a film that once again can change the aesthetic look in popular British cinema. The style of T2 Trainspotting is a marvel to behold with a spectacular use of popular music that can rival the popularity of the soundtrack to the original trainspotting. Its brings back a lot of memories of the characters that you remember from the original Trainspotting and in doing so, the film pleasantly invites the audience to come along for the ride.
I was quite surprised by how the film has reintroduced and refocused Spud’s story (played my Ewen Bremner). Spud has always been the easiest character to relate to because of his struggles through heroin addiction and his warm glow he gives to his friends which led Renton feeling sorry for him. Once again, we find him struggling with keeping his life together and his transformation to get over his heroin addiction a joy to witness.
Robert Carlyle as Begbie is just as menacing and psychotic as we remember him, but it was also good to witness the fatherhood side of his character as he clashes with his son wanting to move on to a better life from time to time, which is very reminiscent of Renton’s character arc. Speaking of which, the meeting of Renton and Begbie is T2 is one of the most powerfully tense scenes in the film, it is a great example of how to build tension without the use of music to support the scene, but just by the characters in a proximity to one another. It was fair to say everyone is the cinema was incredibly anticipated.
I’ve talked a lot about the past in this review and how memorable the characters and the film are, that’s because this film is built upon memory and is also a theme addressed by Danny Boyle. 20 years on these characters are full of regret and a living in a rut reflecting on the last 20 years, the film opens with shot of the four as kids and their younger selves are brought into the film to remind them of why they became friends in the first place to rid them of their regret.
Now that T2 Trainspotting’s hype and expectations has finally arrived at our silver screens I must drop a bombshell on those who want this to be the perfect film, it isn’t. I previously stated that many praised the original trainspotting as the British answer to Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Well, T2 Trainspotting take this tone and amplifies it, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it something that was in the back of my head in the second half of the film. I feel like if Danny Boyle wanted this film to stand alone, it shouldn’t have to borrow minor techniques or elements from other films or directors. When you start using words like “it like a..” or “straight out of a…” the film loses inventiveness.
Also, the fact that this film is submersed in nostalgia reflects where it hopes to get its laughs and smiles form the audience. Does nostalgia ruin the film? Almost slightly. The reason behind this is that the nostalgic feeling we get from the character’s steps aside for the incredible screenplay by John Hodge.
One of the reasons this sequel was even made was because the script impressed the original cast enough to want to take part and it shows in the actor’s confidence to deliver lines the way they need to be delivered and it made the whole story progress to wanting to see more from the characters.
In short, for those who are desperately wanting this to be superior to the original will not have this wish fulfilled but you’ll still be smiling because T2 Trainspotting can once again give a fresh perspective on the talent that Britain offers to the betterment of film. I have become addicted to the films great soundtrack and excellent characters who remain iconic by the end of the run time. It has managed its heightened expectations carefully and leaves you satisfied enough to walk out of the cinema having been marvelled by the newest addition to British cult classics.
Final Result: 8/10 – Very Good
Have you seen T2 Trainspotting? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.
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