FILM REVIEW: T2 Trainspotting starring Ewan McGregor

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

UK RELEASE: 27/1

One can’t help but feel for actor Ewen Bremner who played the lead in the stage version of the original Trainspotting but was replaced by Ewan McGregor for the film.

  • Read on for reasons including whether the original cast were right to reunite for this

It is perhaps satisfying therefore for Bremner, who plays McGregor’s friend Spud in both the original and its sequel, that his T2 Trainspotting story arc is by far the most affecting.

Can there be many other films which see their sequels unleashed a full 21 years after their release?

In T2 our anti-hero Mark ‘Rent Boy’ Renton returns to Edinburgh 20 years after stealing from best friend Sick Boy (played by Jonny Lee Miller) and psychopathic hoodlum acquaintance Begbie (played by Robert Carlyle).

The original 1996 film won an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for John Hodge who returns here. It’s a film about the inescapable passage of time, nostalgia and whether things are worth returning to 20 years on.

There is some sharp humour on a par with the original; not least when Mark and Sick Boy steal credit cards from a rough club only to be challenged by its inhabitants to sing karaoke.

The story is part based on author Irvine Welsh’s follow up to Trainspotting, the novel Porno, but instead revels more in reuniting its original cast, finding out what they have been doing and how this will inform how they behave now.

That it’s in no way as iconic or as groundbreaking as the original film should perhaps come as no surprise. In fact, reuniting with this cast, far from challenging, leaves a warm nostalgic glow and the fate dealt to beloved Spud, no spoilers, seems a perfect way to close this chapter.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy T2 Trainspotting.
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