Director: Danny Boyle
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Steven Robertson, Shirley Henderson, Gordon Kennedy
Runtime: 1 hr 57 mins
Rating: R21 (Sexual Scenes And Drug Use)
Released By: Sony Pictures Releasing International
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/T2TrainspottingFilm
Opening Day: 2 March 2017
Synopsis: 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.
This reviewer remembers the phenomenon that was Trainspotting some 20 years ago. If you wanted to be cool, you had to talk about the 1996 movie directed by Danny Boyle. Based on the novel of the same name by Irvine Welsh, the cult film starred Ewan MGregor, Ewen Bremmer, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle and Kelly MacDonald. The screenplay by John Hodge (it was nominated for an Academy Award, just so you know) tells the story of a group of heroin addicts in an economically depressed area of Edinburghand their passage through life.
If you have seen the film, you would probably agree with this columnist that the scene where McGregor dives into a disgusting public toilet (“The Worse Toilet in Scotland”) is one of the most iconic imageries in modern cinema ever. Oh, there’s also the sequence where he hallucinates and sees a baby crawling on the ceiling while his room elongates.
And we haven’t even gone gaga over the soundtrack of the film. Someone put Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” and Primal Scream’s “Trainspotting” on loop now!
And is a sequel after 21 years necessary? Apparently, according to Boyle, who has returned with Hodge and the original ensemble cast (minus McKidd, whose character died from HIV-related toxoplasmosis in the first movie). Based on Welsh’s Porno, the 117 minute film will be enjoyed fullest by those who have seen Trainspotting.
Ever wondered what happened to Renton(McGregor), Spud (Bremmer), Sick Boy (Lee Miller) and Begbie (Carlyle)? Well, like us mere mortals, life caught on with these four characters. If you are interested in what happened in the first film, go get a copy or read the synopsis so you wouldn’t get too confused here.
The film starts with Rentonin the gym, trying to stay healthy (working executives in their 30s and 40s can totally relate to this). Spud is struggling with his heroin addiction which is affecting his partner and son. Sick Boy is working in a shady pub and leads a life of crime dealing and unlawful business. Bagbie is still serving his prison term and his temper hasn’t improved one bit.
Boyle has made this film for fans of the first movie, and he isn’t ashamed to hide it. There are countless self referencing moments. Cinephiles who remember Trainspotting fondly will smile in glee whenever the filmmakers insert familiar film clips, music and styles. Yup, these include toilet and bedroom, which are clearly fan favourites.
The four leading actors are a joy to watch, and there’s this feeling that you have grown up with them over the last two decades. Outside the film, it is worthy to note that this marks the reunion of Boyle and McGregor, who fell out over the casting of The Beach (2000). For those who aren’t aware, McGregor, was expecting to get the lead role all those years ago. Boyle had admitted then that he gave McGregor the impression that he was going to cast, but it eventually went to Leonardo DiCaprio, was who popular off Titanic (1997). The two only reconciled in 2009, and eight years later, this delightful sequel materialised.
(Is this sequel to the 1996 cult movie worth the wait? You bet it is, and it will be enjoyed fully especially if you are a fan of the first film.)
Review by John Li