First there was an opportunity......then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by. Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home. They are waiting for him: Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance. Written by
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Although Irvine Welsh wrote a follow-up to his novel Trainspotting in 2002 called 'Porno', this movie follow-up is actually only very loosely based on Porno. It is mostly an original story which includes some unused parts of the Trainspotting novel, and some elements from Porno. See more »
When Renton meets Simon in his pub he is playing snooker on his own. In the first shot there are only red balls and a black ball . In the next shot a yellow ball appears on the table. See more »
[In the Highlands with Mark and Spud to remember Tommy]
I'm sorry, I'm trying very hard, but I just don't feel anything.
We are here as an act of memorial.
It's just nostalgia! You're a tourist in your own youth. We were young; bad things happened.
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"T2 Trainspotting" is better plotted and more accessible than the original, but maintains the first film's rebellious spirit.
Danny Boyle has gotten the band back together! The director of the 1996 cult classic "Trainspotting" has again worked with that film's screenwriter, John Hodge (again working from the work of novelist Irvine Welsh), and reassembled the main cast members from that earlier film for "T2 Trainspotting" (R, 1:57), a sequel that was two decades in the making (in terms of the plot and the actual shooting). However, this script is mostly Hodge's original work, being only loosely based on Welsh's "Porno", his 2002 sequel to his 1993 novel "Trainspotting" (but the script also mines some material from that first book). Regarding the cast, Ewan McGregor is back as Mark "Rent Boy" Renton, Ewen Bremner as Daniel "Spud" Murphy, Jonny Lee Miller as Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson and Robert Carlyle as Francis "Franco" Begbie, with James Cosmo and Kelly Macdonald appearing in two scenes each, respectively, as Mark's dad and Diane.
Of course, over the previous 20 years, much happened in the lives of these characters and the real people associated with the first movie. The original "Trainspotting" was only the second feature film directed by Boyle, but he went on to direct "28 Days Later", the Oscar-nominated "127 Hours" and he won the Best Director Oscar for the 2008 Best Picture Oscar winner "Slumdog Millionaire". After Hodge's Oscar nomination for his "Trainspotting" script, he continued to collaborate with Boyle (on "A Life Less Ordinary", "The Beach" and "Trance"). The four main actors in the sequel were also each very early in their feature film careers in 1996, but have all racked up big accomplishments since. McGregor went on to star in over 50 more films, including "Black Hawk Down", "Moulin Rouge!", the "Star Wars" prequels and 2017's "Beauty and the Beast". Bremner has appeared in over 30 more feature films (including "Black Hawk Down" and "Pearl Harbor") and numerous short films, TV movies and TV series. Miller has done over a dozen more films and several TV series, including "Eli Stone", "Dexter" and "Elementary". And last but certainly not least, Carlyle went on from "Trainspotting" to star in "The Full Monty", "The World is Not Enough", "28 Weeks Later", "Barney" and the TV series "Once Upon a Time". But, it's where these actors' "Trainspotting" characters went after 1996 that concerns us here, so The sequel opens similarly to how the original began with Mark running not through the streets of Edinburgh, Scotland, but on a treadmill in a gym in Amsterdam. That's where he settled after stealing all the money he and his friends got from pulling a job at the end of the last film. He is gainfully employed, he's married and he's heroin-free and has been since he left Edinburgh. His former childhood friends aren't doing as well. Begbie is in prison until he finds out that he has been denied parole (again due to his violent tendencies) and hatches an escape plan. Spud has been working off and on (construction and miscellaneous other jobs) and he has fathered a child, but the mother is trying to keep him away from their daughter due to his ongoing heroin habit. Spud just wants to see his little girl and her mother happy again and to get clean, but is failing on both counts and has become suicidally depressed. Simon is running his deceased aunt's pub and a sex/blackmail scam with his young Bulgarian girlfriend, Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova). Oh, and he's moved on from heroin to cocaine. Except for Spud, these guys may not be going by their childhood nicknames anymore, but grown up they definitely are not.
Mark decides to come home (at least) for a visit and not everyone is happy to see him. Spud blames Mark for ruining his life. Mark tries to help Spud get clean and healthy, but that proves challenging. Mark visits Simon who feels the need to work out some aggression over that stolen money from so many years ago, but then Mark and Simon start hanging out and even talk about going into business together. Meanwhile, Begbie makes it home and reunites with his wife (Pauline Turner), with whom he finds he is unable to have sex) and his college-aged son (Scot Greenan), whom dear old dad is trying to pressure into joining him in a continuing life of crime. Begbie's family issues are causing him to be very frustrated and angry, but that's nothing compared to how he feels when he finds out that Simon knows where Mark is. Fans of the original film will remember that when Mark stole the gang's money, Spud was upset and Simon was furious, but it was Begbie who tore up a hotel room. Given that history, the moment when Mark and Begbie are once again face to face is very eagerly anticipated by the audience.
"T2 Trainspotting" is better plotted and more accessible than the original, but maintains the first film's rebellious spirit. The thick Scottish accents are still hard to understand, but Boyle gives us subtitles for the first couple scenes while our ears tune in. Also like in the first film, there are drugs, profane insults, scenes to make you gag and nudity (male and female), just less of each of those things. What this film has more of is anxiety regrets about the past, difficulty adjusting to the present and deep concerns about the future. And the shared history of these four men is lurking in the background for all of them, as we see in the sets and scenery, flashback scenes (some from the first movie and some newly filmed), and especially in Mark's angry "choose life" monologue that he launches at Veronika. With all that, and filmmaking as creative as in the original, "Trainspotting" fans will likely be pleased and "T2" may even create a few more. "B+"
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