T2 TRAINSPOTTING – A Review by John Strange
In 1996, Danny Boyle brought us a story of the Edinburgh drug scene. Starring Ewan McGregor (Mark Renton), Ewen Bremner (Daniel "Spud" Murphy), Jonny Lee Miller (Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson), and Robert Carlyle (Francis "Franco" Begbie) this story was a dark story about young men who were existing but not truly living in the heroin-influenced sub-culture that existed in 1990's Scotland.
That said, the new film, T2 Trainspotting, is more a follow-up than a sequel, a view of the four men and their lives today. Simon comes home to Edinburgh from his self-imposed exile in the Netherlands. Simultaneously, the real crazy of the group, Franco, breaks out of prison. We are also presented with Spud, still trapped in the life of an addict, and Simon, still working scams.
The confrontations between the four drop us back into the world we first experienced 21 years ago. Mark seems lost and repentant on the outside but his reasons for really coming home take a while to surface. Franco however, has an easy to see motivation. He wants to see his family and, upon finding out that Simon has returned, his desire to kill him overpower all other desires.
Spud seems to be just so sad until he finds a reason to live. Simon seems like the one who should be happy with his life but his ability to pull off a good blackmail scam, well, stinks. And his accomplice, Veronika (Anjela Nedyalkova), has a real problem with how he sets up the marks.
Danny Boyle has an interesting way of telling a story. The men's speech patterns and accents are as much a part of the story as the men themselves. In fact, the director actually has to close caption the early scenes so we can figure out what the heck they are saying!
This story is convoluted just the way any realistic story of people should be. These men are on a collision course, each moving toward a classic dramatic confrontation that will leave us happy but truly doesn't make any of them the least bit happy.
This film left me feeling a little bit dirty to have seen it. I know that is just what Mr. Boyle was looking for. If you are fan of dark dramas with a touch of humor, you will enjoy this one. Others may find it hard to watch.
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner
MPAA Rating: R (for drug use, language throughout, strong sexual content, graphic nudity and some violence)
Selig Rating: B-
Runtime: 117 Min.
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.