Movie Review: T2 Trainspotting (2017)

Choose life. Choose blogging. Choose being late talking about the sequel to a Scottish cult hit from the 90s. Choose moving on to the review.

Ladies and gents… “T2 Trainspotting”.

20 years after the events of “Trainspotting”, Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Scotland to try to find and reconcile with his old friends. So now we have the premise for the plot. Really, the basic idea is that simple, but it’s the overall execution that is a lot more layered than that. Kind of like the first movie, it’s not so much a plot with a typical beginning-middle-end structure, but it’s more just the characters doing things. The only real overarching part of the plot is how they all have issues to work out in various ways. And I think that works for these movies, it gives them a unique style. It’s more about miserable people and their miserable lives, rather than a hero having to save the day. My only flaw with the movie is that it doesn’t feel quite as uncomfortably unpredictable the first, but this is a gripe so small that it doesn’t ruin it all for me. Just don’t think it’s as great as the first movie. Though it’s still pretty great.

The characters here are all (for the most part) horrible people, but they’re so well written that it works. Ewan McGregor is back as Renton, and he’s got some things to work out in his life. Seeing Renton’s journey to try to reconcile with his friends is really interesting, and as we go through the movie we can tell that his life isn’t as great as he tries to make it seem. And McGregor is of course great in the role. Ewen Bremner returns as Spud, the most sympathetic and possibly most tragic of all the characters. He’s always been a bit of an unlucky loser, and in this movie it still mostly rings true. But he’s fun, and I cared about him. And Bremner is great in the role. Jonny Lee Miller returns as Sick Boy (now going by Simon), a very bitter man that feels a lot of resentment towards his old friend. He’s a scheming jerk, but I still at times found myself caring about him. And Miller is great in the role. Then we have Robert Carlyle back as Francis Begbie, a very angry psychopath who wants to kill Renton for what he did to him 20 years ago. He’s just as angry, foul-mouthed, murderous, and intense as in the first movie… potentially even more now that I think about it. What is a bit surprising is that he does have a little bit of an arc here that is kind of compelling… sort of. And Carlyle is just amazing in the role. Then we have a newcomer in the form of Anjela Nedyalkova as Veronika, girlfriend of Sick boy. She’s good at heart, but has a bit of a dark side (who doesn’t in this fucked up universe). And Nedyalkova is great in the role. Really, there are no bad performances here.

Like in the first one, “T2” has no actual score composed for it. Instead it’s a soundtrack featuring all kinds of songs. From remixes of tracks from the first, to newer songs. And while I personally wouldn’t listen to several of the tracks during my free time, I think all tracks work wonderfully within their respective scenes and help give the movie it’s identity.

Danny Boyle returned to direct this sequel to his classic movie. And what I like about the directing/editing here is that it retains the unique style of “Trainspotting” while also showing off the improved talents of Danny Boyle. It’s a great mix of new and old. Combining the clever camerawork with slick editing gives it such a unique and engaging style that I can’t help but love. The first movie’s signature dark humor is also back and it’s just as awkwardly hilarious as it was the first time around.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 79% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,3/10.

“T2 Trainspotting” is one of those sequels that exceeded my expectation. It has a really good plot, great characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/editing. Like I said earlier, my only (minor) flaw with the movie is that the plot isn’t quite as unpredictable as the first one, but it doesn’t take away too much for me. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “T2 Trainspotting” is a 9,23/10. So while mildly flawed, it is definitely worth buying!

My review of “T2 Trainspotting” is now completed.

“T2 Terminator-spotting”… god damn it, now I want to see Begbie go up against a Terminator. Can we make that happen, please?

One thought on “Movie Review: T2 Trainspotting (2017)

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