T2 Trainspotting 2 movie review
Almost 20 years after the original, Trainspotting 2 has hit cinemas. Usually sequels made decades after the original tend to be pretty terrible but with the original cast and the original behind the camera-talent, Trainspotting 2 hopes to buck the trend. I saw Trainspotting 2 this afternoon and whilst I don’t think it’s as good as the original, it’s a worthy sequel to a British classic.
I saw Trainspotting for the 1st time about a week ago, and I loved it. It was strange but had a lot of dark humor to it, and was a great film. It’s not my favourite film based off of an Irvine Welsh novel (that award has to go to Filth. It’s a small movie which stars James McAvoy, and it’s one of my favourite films) but the first Trainspotting is a really great film. Trainspotting 2 is set 20 years after the first film, and whilst a lot has changed, a lot is still the same. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) has been living in Amsterdam for 20 years, and hasn’t touched heroin. He comes back to Edinburgh and meet up with his old friends (Sick Boy (Johnny Lee Miller) and Spud (Ewen Bremner)). This film was really good and felt like a continuation of Trainspotting’s story. Whilst I think Trainspotting didn’t really need a sequel, Trainspotting 2 proved that it wasn’t an unnecessary sequel. Trainspotting 2 worked really well as a sequel to Trainspotting as the story was quite strong and engaging, and it contained a lot of element’s the first one had without making it seem like a rehash of the original. There was a lot of dark humour and it works for the characters and the story. There’s one part about daylight saving time which is one of my favourite parts of this movie. It is pretty terrible for the character involved but it’s very funny.
Also the directing in Trainspotting 2 is amazing. Danny Boyle is a pretty good director and Trainspotting 2 has a lot of great shots and visuals which seem to mesh well with the life of drugs and crime the characters in this movie live in. It also looks like the 1st Trainspotting which is to be expected as Trainspotting was one of Danny Boyle’s first movies. Also the ‘action’ scenes of the movie were really good and there were tense moments in them.
The cast was pretty great too. I really liked Ewan McGregor, Johnny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner, and Robert Carlyle who are all returning members of the cast. Robert Carlyle was probably my favourite as Begbie. Begbie is pretty insane and his scenes are really great (especially his scenes with Ewan McGregor). Ewen Bremner (who plays Spud) was probably the most sympathetic character in Trainspotting 2, and I really liked his role. Ewan McGregor was really good and was a great anchor for the movie. Renton is probably the most normal character in the movie, and I think Ewan McGregor played him really well. Johnny Lee Miller had a few really great moments but I think his character was one of the most unlikable in the movie (I don’t think that’s a terrible thing though because Simon (Sick Boy) was betrayed pretty heavily by Renton in the first movie, and he’s still on drugs). I also liked the small role Kelly Macdonald (Diane, the schoolgirl Renton has sex with in Trainspotting) played to the plot. It was a nice touch. In addition to the returning cast members, I really liked Anjela Nedyalkova (Veronika). She played a pretty central part to the film, but the twist with her character I was expecting because she seemed a bit shifty.
However this movie seems very choppy at times (especially towards the start of the movie). I understand that the movie had to set up the characters to a certain extent, but this movie seemed to have four different starts. this messed with the pacing slightly. However once the movie had gotten to about the half an hour point it seemed to find it’s rhythm and it seemed to get better.
Overall, Trainspotting 2 is a very good movie but isn’t quite as good as Trainspotting. The 1st Trainspotting is almost a classic at this point and deservedly so. Trainspotting 2 has a lot of great elements and is a great movie itself, but it feels like it’s missing something that the original had. The acting was really good, as was the directing. It had quite a bit of dark humour, and has an engaging story. Also the soundtrack is pretty great. However the film seems choppy at points and parts of the movie were predictable. If you liked the original Trainspotting, I think you’d like this movie because I think Trainspotting 2 is a worthy sequel to Trainspotting. It didn’t feel like a rehash of Trainspotting but it still felt similar to Trainspotting. This is a very rare example of a sequel set over 10 years after the original which isn’t a terrible film.
I’d give Trainspotting 2 a 3.75 out of 5. It’s a good movie but it’s choppy at points and feels like it’s missing something. If you liked the original Trainspotting, I think this movie might be something you enjoy. It’s definitely not a bad movie but it’s not as amazing as the original was.
Chelsea Baines covers Entertainment for MFST, you can follow her on Twitter @ChelseaBaines
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