About – 20 years later after the original ‘Trainspotting’ the gang reunite when Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Scotland.
‘T2: Trainspotting’ is an acceptable sequel from the original. It has the original gang; it has references and it also sees the same locations. However, as a stand-alone film, it has its flaws and struggles to lead up to expectations.
The cast and the characters were perfect. Over the 20 years the cast have truly grown up on how to perform. The characters have also grown but still act like they’re in their early twenties. We see Renton (Ewan McGregor), Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller), Spud (Ewan Bremner), Begbie (Robert Carlyle) and other familiar faces from the original. The chemistry that these boys have, has not been lost in the 20-year gap. It is also comfortable seeing these characters and familiar faces back again.
There were flashbacks and scenes from the original, 1 minute in total. Even though it felt a lot longer than that. However, there were references from start to finish, which brought the original flooding back in memory. This worked if ‘T2’ wanted to be a sequel. As a stand-alone it was too much of the original being used for our memory not for our entertainment. This is where it gets confusing, and we ask ourselves the question, does it want to be a sequel or a stand-alone? Personally, it would be more successful if it was a stand-alone without all the references that it proceeds to have.
Without a doubt ‘T2’ looked incredible. It used handheld footage, CCTV and camera work, all used together perfectly. It didn’t seem forced or unnecessary, it was used to capture the life that these boys lead. By doing this, it gives us an idea of how to view these characters. It is for our own entertainment of course, but it’s done so we get a different angle on certain issues that are raised.
The original score in ‘Trainspotting’ was relatable to the time of the release date in the 1990’s. With music from ‘Pulp’ ‘Iggy Pop’ and ‘New Order’. Whereas ‘T2’ was trying to keep with that 1990’s feel. This felt like we are stuck in a time ward with ‘T2’. I feel it should have taken music from the present day more than looking back on something that has already been done.
So, was there any need for a sequel? Or another Trainspotting film? It all depends on how you view the film, if you are wanting a sequel you have one. If you are wanting a great stand-alone Trainspotting film like the original you’re going to be disappointed. It truly all depends on how you are wanting to process the film.
Overall, ‘T2: Trainspotting’ is a good sequel, it has references to the original, the cast and characters don’t change, they’re still the same bubbly characters we are used to. It works. However, as a stand-alone it doesn’t go anywhere, its slow, there isn’t enough shocking drug use, sex scenes and heart-racing narrative, the shock value was not there. If you love the original and love Danny Boyle this is a film for you.
As you might have read and see I am torn… I want to love it but personally I can’t. I feel like this a dilemma with a lot of films that proceed to go onto sequels. If you fall in love with the original, you find yourself constantly comparing the two.