One by one the old cast are reintroduced, each with their own 2-3 minute scene, before Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns from
Franco Begbie (Robert Carlyle) and his libido have been locked up in prison and he seeks his revenge served cold in a pool of blood rather than as a fistful of dollars. There’s a wonderful symmetry to the blackmail storyline as Kelly Macdonald reprises her role playing Diane Coulston.
The star of the show is undoubtedly Spud Murphy (Ewen Bremner) and the audience watch his redemption story unfold as he chooses to have a future, and chooses life.
But can Simon’s young Bulgarian beau Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova) stay ahead of the old timers and prove that the young generation have more cunning and guile than Mark, Simon, Spud and Franco?
“Tell your story because we’re dying to hear it”
The film is not perfect. There’s an undeniable emptiness to the immoral living, a self-destruction that accompanies the drug abuse. Script-wise, there are far too many repetitions of the words ‘opportunity’ and ‘betrayal’. The movie’s pace suffers from arrhythmia in the second half. And Veronika is the only female character with any real depth. Yet ...
... T2 Trainspotting might well be my film of the year.
There’s magic at work in the edit. Mood and music switch in a beat without grating. Spine-tinglingly evocative old tunes are mixed with new. What sometimes look like rough camera work panning around a room delivers perfectly-framed images all the way through a jerky turn. Drone shots show off beautiful Edinburgh vistas while some special effects are thrown in when you least expect them.
King Billy even makes an appearance in a song that for anti-sectarian reasons will not be on the film’s soundtrack album but I fear will be heard during band parades in the summer.
T2 has an uncanny ability to generate humour from nowhere. It induced several roars of laughter from this normally mirth-free reviewer. There are funny lines, funny snatches of music, funny shot composition, not to mention funny costumes. And then there are the creative portmanteau swearwords, no doubt imported from Irvine Welsh’s novels Trainspotting and Porno.
It’s complex. It races through your head as you leave the cinema. It has characters that shock and surprise, yet beg to be adopted and forgiven
Be a dreamer. Be like Spud. Choose life.