By Jay Hunter – Coming two decades after the initial Britannia zeitgeist flick, T2: Trainspotting gave itself quite a mountain to climb. The first movie always felt like the celluloid version of Oasis, giving a voice to a generation. Now in 2017 although Noel & Liam are still talented, they’re also bloated and scaly, much like T2.
Loosely adapted from Irvine Welsh’s novel Porno, T2 sees many familiar beats, with a few new riffs just for good measure. Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to Edinburgh where Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle) all await. It would’ve been easy to throw the gang back into their original schtick, however with the cast in their mid-40s it would’ve been the equivalent of rapping grannies. Instead, in a smart movie from director Danny Boyle the leading cast are – mostly – far removed from the smack-addicted anarchists, instead fearing a hollow middle-aged existence.
Problematically the aesthetics of the whole affair with an extra $15m at it’s disposal and shot with a Leica Summicron camera force the movie to feel divorced from it’s gritty subject matter, rather than married to it. Most crucially however, despite it’s smart directing and wonderful cast, we’re all too often reminded of the – much better – original movie. Rather than small nuances that made the original such a legendary cultural smash, we’re left with much more obvious generous narrative strokes. In a recent interview with the BBC, Carlyle said he was hopeful for a third instalment of Trainspotting, loosely based on Welsh’s new book The Blade Artist, which focuses on Carlyle’s character, Begbie. Off the back of T2, it would be a welcomed movie, but lets not wait another twenty years, ey?