Friday, 3 February 2017

'T2: Trainspotting' Review

Twenty years have passed since Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) took off with the drug money, leaving his friends behind. Renton is now back after living in Holland and Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and worst of all, Begbie (Robert Carlyle) are all still in Edinburgh as Renton looks to start his life again in the Scottish capital.

Danny Boyle and the original cast are back after 20 years to build upon the legacy of 1996's 'Trainspotting'. The original 'Trainspotting' is a huge deal in Scotland with it being a staple in British film over the last 20 years. The film is adored by both adults who seen it when it first came out and youths who seen it after they were born - like me. Whenever a sequel comes along many years after the first, there is huge fear that it will be worthless and a complete cash grab - see last year's 'Zoolander 2' and 'Independence Day: Resurgence'. Thankfully for viewers, Danny Boyle shows filmmakers how to carry on a story decades after the original.

The feeling from the original 'Trainspotting' is kept the same as Boyle brings a very similar shooting style as editor Jon Harris cuts the film much like the first film. The cast plays a huge role in the overall feeling as yet again they are portrayed wonderfully. With it being such a long time between the films, you can easily lose that feeling and it can become sad to see these characters once again. T2 has no problem with that as the characters you love from the original return and only build upon the greatness from the first. We don't see the characters rehash what they did in the first one, it's entirely new stories that are being created and new personal traits that are being developed. Of course, there are the classic traits from Spud, Sick Boy and Begbie to make it seem familiar but it isn;t completely rehashed and is kept fresh. Bremner's character Spud perhaps has the perfect blends as he still has the personality that you fell in love with at first but has enough new about him that allows the character to progress.

Spud actually propels himself into becoming a very key and main character in the film, unlike he did in the first film. The character is made more interesting due to the time gap with him having high and lows as he tries to find himself whilst Renton has gone. Sick Boy realigns himself with old best friend Renton yet again and similar to the first, you are not sure whether you can trust him or not. This becomes a key part of the story as 20 years has past but the relationship has not really. There is that close bond but you can't help but feel that there is something brewing within. The stand out performance yet again comes from Robert Carlyle as Begbie. Begbie is one of the most unlikeable film characters but you can't help but keep watching him as he is so entertaining and captivating. Carlyle captures the characteristics perfectly as the psychotic hardman who you enjoy watching but know is an awful human being. Ewan McGregor also shines as Renton who seemingly has everything returning back home but is still looking to fill that void and fit in once returning. Renton is arguably the least interesting character in the film but excels as the main character as he is the glue within the group, holding everything together.

In essence, the main theme throughout the film is regret. The regret of not sorting your life out, not having that family or job that you hoped for. Each character goes through this and it is something that the audience can really relate to. As the first film is 20 years old now, there will be people all over the world who had hoped to have done things differently. This provides a very strong point for those who have lived their life but not so much for those with life in front of them. However, there is still plenty for those younger to enjoy without getting the full experience as perhaps the likes of their parents would.

As a Scotsman, the film's comedy and humour work perfectly well for me and from the audience's reaction, them too. There are so many things that happen throughout the film that is genuinely realistic which make the film incredibly funny as you know people exactly like those portrayed in the film. The social issues within the film are executed incredibly well but again, this may not have the same effect on those not from the U.K or even Scotland alone. The likes of the loyalist pub scene may seem very odd to those not familiar with Scottish history and how it is considered in the present day. As someone from here, the jokes and scenes that are Scottish-specific could not have been executed any better.

'T2' does what a returning franchise should do. It brings back the characters but makes them fell fresh. It doesn't reuse the same story and shows a clear change in the characters lives. The fact that the film is highly entertaining is a huge factor that many sequels miss out on too. 'T2' is not quite the hit that the first was but is still very enjoyable with tamer themes and incidents throughout the film.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'T2: Trainspotting'? If so, what did you think of the film? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie or not. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor