Mark returns to Edinburgh after 20 years and stars a new scheme
with Simon, while Begbie escapes from prison and hunts him down.
T2 Trainspotting (2017)
Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by John Hodge
Starring Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner,
Robert Carlyle, Anjela Nedyalkova, Kelly Macdonald,
Scot Greenan, Pauline Turner, James Cosmo
Sequel to 1996's Trainspotting
Based on characters created by Irvine Welsh
The general rule of thumb with belated sequels is that they never measure up. They're either godawful or forgettable. The amount of effort Danny Boyle has put into trying to make this film happen over the years is staggering, and after finally getting everybody's schedules to synchronize, the film was made. But did it measure up? Absolutely. T2 Trainspotting celebrates the staying power of the first film and builds on the iconic characters' lives and personalities. Twenty years is a big gap to fill, and Boyle found a way to make it work. More than anything, T2 feels like Trainspotting from beginning to end, never once feeling like a knockoff or a reboot.
The film opens on Mark Renton blowing an artery, leading him to return home to Edinburgh to try to reconnect with the friends he betrayed twenty years prior. Not surprisingly, nobody has moved on or grown up in any way, making the reunions absolutely wild. Then you've got Begbie, still as insane as ever but incarcerated. Robert Carlyle again shows that he is one of the most underrated and underappreciated actors working today, as he effortlessly returns to the psychotic character that started his career, but now adds an underscore of pain and legacy to the role. The cast's chemistry is still spot-on, with Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, and Ewen Bremner delivering top-notch performances two decades later.
Much to my surprise, this film works. It's just as memorable as the first one, but abandons the horrific side of drug addiction in favor of a lighthearted celebration of a movie that has become so beloved by the film community. It never feels forced, it never retreads the first one, and it never feels insincere. It's a solid continuation that deserves way more attention than it received upon release. I would rank it among Danny Boyle's best work.