Review: Choose being challenged by T2 Trainspotting

Ewen Bremner as Daniel 'Spud' Murphy, Ewan McGregor as Mark 'Rent Boy' Renton, Jonny Lee Miller as Simon 'Sick Boy' Williamson and Robert Carlyle as Francis 'Franco' Begbie
Ewen Bremner as Daniel 'Spud' Murphy, Ewan McGregor as Mark 'Rent Boy' Renton, Jonny Lee Miller as Simon 'Sick Boy' Williamson and Robert Carlyle as Francis 'Franco' Begbie

Matt Adcock reviews T2 Trainspotting (18), starring Ewan McGregor

Choose life. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, wishing you'd done it all differently and choose watching history repeat itself. Choose being challenged and engaged by an incredible sequel to one of the coolest films of all time.

Here we are then - after 20 years director Danny Boyle brings Irvine Welsh’s druggie scallywags back to the big screen in this powerful sequel based loosely on the novel Porno. Much has changed - Mark ‘Rent-boy’ Renton (Ewan McGregor) has escaped the drugs ironically living in Amsterdam, but nagging regrets about ripping off his friends see him return to the only place he can ever really call home.

Waiting for him are his old ‘pals’ - lifetime loser Spud (Ewen Bremner), Simon/‘Sick Boy’ (Jonny Lee Miller) and furious Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Also there is Diane (Kelly Macdonald), Renton’s ‘one that got away’ and a host of sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, heroin, self-destruction, oh, and mortal danger…

New to the troubled goings on is Veronika (the excellent Anjela Nedyalkova), she’s Simon’s girlfriend/partner in a criminal activity but she immediately catches Renton’s eye which could put strain on their already fraught relationship.

While T2 can’t hope to match the iconic freshness of the original, it certainly brings a fascinating take on mid-life nostalgia. Perhaps it’s because I’m the same age as Renton but his seeking for meaning and redemption is one that I can see resonating with many who pause to take stock of their lives. Just what have you achieved? Who really loves you and who do you really care about? What is there left for you going forward?

Boyle does a great job of delivering both a reality check for sentimental fans of the original and a cool account of the further chaos that follows these characters around like restless malevolent shadows. The cinematography is excellent, there’s a pumping new soundtrack which includes the awesome Silk by Wolf Alice and some great vibrant jumbled visuals that keep this very much in the vein of the first film.

We’re all addicts of some sort, so be addicted - just be addicted to something better. Choose the ones you love. Choose your future. Choose life. Choose T2: Trainspotting.